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Last Build Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 23:12:47 -0400

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Promise of Arsenal's Youth Is Always on the Horizon

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Arsenal's season is off to a roller-coaster start: A dreadful loss at Fulham in its second league game worked fans into a panic, and the squad looked inadequate for a sustained title-challenge. Over the next two weeks in late August, though, a string of good results not only pushed Arsenal to the top of the league table, but also renewed belief in the team and manager Arsene Wenger. It is his vision — encapsulated in a common refrain amongst Arsenal supporters, "Arsene Knows" — that has guided...



To Find More Balance, Premiership Can Learn From NFL, MLB

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The sale of Manchester City soccer club to the Abu Dhabi United Group, an investment consortium lead by the fabulously wealthy (the group's net worth is estimated at approximately $1 trillion) 31-year-old Dr. Sulaiman Al-Fahim, has set off alarm bells in England. The fear is that the new owners, who have promised to buy a laundry list of star players and assemble a dream team, will topple the Premier League establishment. Forget about newly promoted teams like Stoke, Hull, or West Brom, even...



Two Stars of Melbourne Look To Shine in Queens

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

They were the talk of tennis a mere seven months ago: two flamboyant, up-and-coming stars of the game. One, Novak Djokovic, had dreamed of being no. 1 in the world since tennis courts were built near his home in the mountains of Serbia. The other, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a 200-pound specimen and master of the drop volley, had overcome several injuries and begun to fulfill the promise he showed as junior. When they met in the Australian Open final, they lit up the Melbourne evening with splendid...



Nigeria Knocks Out U.S. Soccer Team

Thu, 14 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

BEIJING — An early slip-up against Nigeria left the United States playing a desperate game of catch-up that ultimately failed and resulted in its elimination from the Beijing Olympics. The Americans, forced to play with 10 men from the third minute, lost 2-1 to Nigeria yesterday after coming close to scoring the equalizing goal in the frantic, final minutes that would have put them through to the quarterfinals. Despite getting off to its best Olympic start after opening with a win over Japan...



Nigerians Knock U.S. Soccer Out of Olympics

Wed, 13 Aug 2008 12:09:45 EST

BEIJING — Promise Isaac and Victor Obinna scored today to lead Nigeria over 10-man America 2-1, earning a place in the quarterfinals of the Olympic soccer tournament and eliminating the Americans. Isaac scored in the 39th minute with an easy tap-in off Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi's centering pass, and Obinna curled a right-footed shot into the top of goal in the 80th. Sacha Kljestan converted an 88th-minute penalty for the Americans and substitute Benny Feilhaber headed onto the post in the 90th, as...



Win Against Nigeria Is Crucial for Men's Soccer Hopes

Tue, 12 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

The U.S. men's soccer team squares off against Nigeria tomorrow at Beijing's Workers Stadium, and the game is crucial for both countries. For America, the equation is simple: Beat Nigeria and clinch a quarterfinal spot, and avoid playing against tournament heavyweight Argentina until the semifinals. Lose or draw, and America is left sweating out the result of the Netherlands/Japan match. Perhaps just as important as advancing is the restorative effect a win would have for the psyches of the...



Olympic Soccer Limits Age, Not Talent

Tue, 5 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

The men's Olympic soccer competition kicks off Thursday, a day before the opening ceremony, thus marking the official start of the Beijing Olympics. Sixteen nations will be vying for the gold. Soccer at the Olympics is an absurd amalgamation of Olympic past and present, neither a pure amateur pursuit, nor a full-blown professional competition. The national teams are limited to players under 23 years of age, with three slots available for veterans 23 or older. The intent is to showcase young...



Winning Euro, Spain Finally Triumphs on Big Stage

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

By beating Germany 1–0 in the Euro 2008 final yesterday, Spain ended its long run of big-tournament disappointments. For the nation of more than 40 million, it was only its second major tournament title, and its first since winning the 1964 European Championship, 44 years ago. Spain deserved to win this match. It had more shots on goal and kept the ball on the German side of the field for most of the second half. What's more, Spain played at a high level throughout the entire Euro 2008...



Spain Takes European Soccer Title From Germany

Sun, 29 Jun 2008 17:10:29 EST

VIENNA, Austria — Big-game flops no more, Spain won the European Championship 1-0 over Germany today for its first major title in 44 years. Fernando Torres scored in the 33rd minute and the Spaniards never backed down against such a formidable opponent. Their last significant title came in the 1964 Euros at home. In beating a team that makes a habit of appearing in championship finals, the Spaniards put to rest a reputation for underachieving. Always loaded with talented players, Spain has...



Spain Routs Russia, Heads to Euro Final

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

VIENNA, Austria — Please don't tell Spain it has been made an odds-on choice to win the European Championship. The Spaniards scored three second-half goals yesterday to beat Russia 3-0 and reach the final for the first in 24 years, giving the team a chance to shed its status as one of soccer's biggest underachievers. "For many years we haven't won anything, while Germany is always up there fighting for the titles," said Xavi Hernandez, who scored Spain's first goal. "So I would say Germany is...



Late Goal Propels Germany Past Turkey

Thu, 26 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

BASEL, Switzerland — In one of the wilder finishes of an unpredictable European Championship, it figures that a player struggling to find his game would score the winner. Philipp Lahm ended Turkey's storybook run in the tournament yesterday with a late goal in a 3-2 semifinal victory that kept Germany on target for a record fourth title. A stunning conclusion that many people around the world did not see because the international television feed went out had Lahm eliminating the surprising...



More Surprises May Be In Store for Semifinals

Tue, 24 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

Euro 2008 has had great soccer, dramatic and late goals, and surprising upsets. Of the four teams set for tomorrow and Thursday's semifinal showdowns, no one embodies the tournament story lines better than Turkey: They should be known as the Cardiac Kids. Late goals helped Turkey secure all three of its wins; its equalizer against Croatia came on the last kick of extra time, forcing penalty kicks. Turkey clearly does not panic at the ends of games. Spain, too, managed to hold its nerves in its...



Spain Edges Italy in Shootout After 0-0 Draw

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

VIENNA, Austria — When a team has gone so long without a big win, it doesn't care how that victory comes. For Spain, it came in the form of a penalty-kicks shootout over World Cup champion Italy, 4-2 after a lackluster 0-0 draw through 120 minutes Sunday night in the European Championship quarterfinals. "We finally had the luck that we have been missing," goalkeeper Iker Casillas said after saving two penalty kicks. It was much more than luck, though. Spain showed the kind of fortitude it often...



Germany Moves Into Semis As Portugal Falters

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

BASEL, Switzerland — Almost from the outset, it was Germany, not Portugal, that showed flair. It was the Germans, a group runner-up, who dominated the Portuguese, a group winner. Bastian Schweinsteiger, coming off a suspension, scored one goal and set up two more Thursday night, leading Germany over Portugal 3-2 and into the European Championship semifinals. It was the first time Germany moved into the final four since it won Euros in 1996, and the first time Portugal failed to make the...



Eight Teams Now Vie for European Supremacy

Thu, 19 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

The quarterfinal round of Euro 2008 starts today: If the quarterfinal matchups are anywhere near as exciting as the group stage action, it will be a fantastic weekend of soccer. The eight quarterfinalists include four pretournament favorites (Portugal, Germany, Spain, and Italy), the hottest team and current favorite (the Netherlands), one dark horse (Croatia), and two outsiders (Turkey and Russia). On Sunday, look for Portugal, Croatia, Holland, and Italy to have booked semifinal spots. Here's...



Italy Advances Past France, Dutch Keep Rolling

Wed, 18 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

ZURICH, Switzerland — Italy advanced to the quarterfinals of the European Championship with a 2-0 win over short-handed France yesterday in a rematch of the 2006 World Cup final the Italians also won. Andrea Pirlo put Italy in front with a penalty kick in the 25th minute after Eric Abidal was red-carded for a foul on Luca Toni, and Daniele De Rossi made it 2-0 with a deflected free kick in the 62nd. Italy next faces Group D winner Spain on Sunday in Vienna, although it will be without key...



Turkey's Late Rally Advances Them to Quarterfinals

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

GENEVA, Switzerland — Turkey stunned the Czech Republic with three goals in the final 15 minutes, including two in three minutes, for a 3-2 victory yesterday that lifted the Turks into the European Championship quarterfinals. The Czechs were in control 2-0 on goals by Jan Koller and Jaroslav Plasil before Turkey staged its comeback in the rain. Arda Turan scored in the 75th minute, Nihat Kahveci tied it off a mistake by goalkeeper Petr Cech, and Nihat won it in the 89th with a sharp shot off...



What Was Learned In First Week of Euro '08

Fri, 13 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

The highlight of the first week of Euro 2008 was the Netherlands' historic defeat of Italy: The stunning upset blew Group C wide open, and set up the possibility that one of the two World Cup finalists, Italy and France, will not advance to the quarterfinals. So far, only Portugal and Croatia have clinched quarterfinal spots, with the other six slots still up for grabs. Looking back over the first six days of action, here's a quick rundown of what we've learned so far and how the rest of the...



Spain, Sweden Win Resoundingly in Euro Cup

Wed, 11 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

INNSBRUCK, Austria — David Villa was a master of understatement after making the biggest statement of the European Championship on the field. Villa scored three times yesterday in Spain's resounding 4-1 victory over Russia, a win that confirmed the Spaniards as a team to beat at the European Championship. "Three goals, a hat trick with the national team — it's started well," Villa, who scored the tournament's first hat trick since Patrick Kluivert of the Netherlands in 2000, said. "We're off to...



Dutch Rout World Champion Italy

Tue, 10 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

BERN, Switzerland — The Dutch certainly made the first surprise of the European Championship a stunner. The Netherlands handed Italy its worst loss in tournament history, a 3-0 rout yesterday that left the World Cup champions in danger of elimination in the first round. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wesley Sneijder scored in the first half, and standout defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst added the third goal on a counterattack in the 79th minute. "It was a historic feat. This was Italy, the world...



Podolski Scores Twice for German Win

Mon, 9 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

KLAGENFURT, Austria — Beating the land where he was born was rewarding for Lukas Podolski. He simply refused to gloat about it. Lukas Podolski scored both goals last night to give three-time champion Germany a brilliant start at the European Championship with a 2-0 win. The Germans have not been beaten by Poland in 16 meetings over 75 years. It was Germany's first victory in Euros since winning the 1996 finals over the Czech Republic. Podolski was born in Poland, but came to Germany in his...



Europe's Best Prepare for a Clash in the Alps

Thu, 5 Jun 2008 00:00:00 EST

The European Soccer Championship (Euro 2008) begins Saturday with co-host Switzerland kicking it off against the Czech Republic. Of the 16 teams in the highly regarded competition, seven are ranked in the top 10 of FIFA's world soccer rankings. The teams are divided into four groups of four, with each team playing the other three in its group, and the top two teams advancing to the quarterfinals, which start on June 19. The final is June 29 at 2:45 EDT, live on ABC. Here's a breakdown of the...



USA Falls to England -- Even Tougher Tests To Come

Thu, 29 May 2008 00:00:00 EST

In the first of three friendly matches against soccer's elite, the U.S. men's team lost 2-0 to England yesterday in London, signaling that it has its work cut out for it if it's to join the top ranks of soccer. Goals from England's captain John Terry in the first half and Steven Gerrard in the second half were enough to see off an American team playing with a mostly first-choice side (but without Landon Donovan, who missed the match due to injury). Donovan's L.A. Galaxy teammate, David Beckham...



Manchester United Tops Chelsea in Penalty Kicks

Thu, 22 May 2008 00:00:00 EST

MOSCOW — Manchester United last night painted the Russian capital red, sending their fans partying into Red Square, after an absorbing, draining collision between English heavyweights. The red theme intensified with a vengeance with Didier Drogba's dismissal for slapping Nemanja Vidic before United prevailed on penalties. Ronaldo and John Terry both missed in the penalty shootout, forcing sudden death, and Nicolas Anelka saw Chelsea's seventh penalty saved. United's victory was awash with...



Off-Field Drama Heightens All-English Final

Wed, 21 May 2008 00:00:00 EST

Chelsea and Manchester United square off today in the Champions League final, live from Moscow at 2:45 p.m. EDT. The matchup marks the first time two English teams are vying for the European soccer title. The two teams also battled each other for the English Premier League title, with Manchester United edging Chelsea on the last day of the season. Long-standing, evenly matched rivals that boast many of the world's best players should normally make for an exciting Champions League final. But the...



Is Europe's Lack of Parity Hurting Soccer?

Wed, 14 May 2008 00:00:00 EST

Historically, most of the world's major soccer leagues have been dominated by just two or three teams: Elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United, or Bayern Munich reinforce their competitive advantage by outspending their league rivals for new talent. In recent years, an already uneven playing field has gotten even worse, and the dominance of individual teams in several leagues has drained the drama from the annual title races. This trend stands in stark contrast to American sports...



Many of the Americans in Premiership Face Relegation

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EST

The English Premier League season is drawing to a close, and a cruel fate awaits at least half of the 14 American players in the league. Each season, the league's three worst teams are demoted to the second division (somewhat unconvincingly named "the Championship"), and this year's bottom-dwellers, Derby, Fulham, Birmingham, Bolton and Reading, include 10 Americans in their squads who could be banished to the lower league, along with their underperforming teams. The loss of more than half of...



English Clubs Look for Revenge in Champions Play

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 00:00:00 EST

The semifinal round of the European Champions League starts tomorrow, and for the second year in a row, three of the four semifinalists are from England. Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester United are joined this year by Barcelona, the only continental club left in the competition. The three English clubs are hoping for a better showing this time around: Last year, AC Milan not only spoiled an all-English final by overcoming Manchester United in the semifinals, but also beat Liverpool in the...



New Stars Are Nipping At Kaka's Heels

Tue, 5 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

He's known to millions of soccer fans worldwide simply as Kaka. That's the Brazilian way — to use a one-word nickname. Quite often, the words mean nothing: Pele was never able to explain the origin of his nickname. But we know how Kaka got his name: His younger brother, Rodrigo, couldn't pronounce Ricardo properly, so in early life, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite — a name that not one soccer fan in 10,000 would recognize — became Kaka. Later in his life, Kaka moved to Europe to play in Italy...



The College Draft Doesn't Make Much Sense for MLS

Tue, 29 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Major League Soccer is trying very hard to prove that it belongs up there with the NFL and the NBA as an important pro sport. An important American pro sport, that is. As one way of doing this, the MLS has introduced into its schedule an event that is unknown elsewhere in the worldwide game of soccer: the annual college draft. Just like the NBA and the NFL? In appearance, yes. In practice, no. Basketball and football have a wealth of talent to pick from, including a select group who can go...



African Tourney Battles FIFA, Internal Disarray

Tue, 22 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

The African Nations Cup, now being played in Ghana, was immersed in controversy before it even began. From European clubs came an increasingly strident litany of complaints about the timing of the tournament. The problem is that a great many European clubs now employ African players. They are frequently key members of the team. Under FIFA regulations, these players must be released for national team duty whenever they are wanted for an official FIFA tournament. The African Nations Cup is just...



A Year Later, America Waits for Beckham's Help

Tue, 15 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

The Beckham era of American soccer descended upon us pretty well exactly a year ago. It was an astounding coup for MLS: the snaring of one of the world's bestknown players, still arguably in his prime. Even if he isn't the world's most skillful player, he is, far and away, the most marketable player — probably the most marketable player the sport has ever had. Of course, things have not gone entirely according to plan. Injuries played havoc with those plans, Beckham has appeared in only a...



Despite Criticism, Stylish Soccer Does Lead to Goals

Tue, 8 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Soccer's constant struggle with the concept of "style" is in the news again. Barcelona's Cameroonian forward, Samuel Eto'o, recently had this to say: "We [Barcelona] sometimes get too obsessed with keeping possession and passing the ball around. It isn't any good to keep playing the same way because if you don't score, it is no use. What counts is winning, and I want to win and don't care how we do it. That's the reality of soccer." In recent years, Barcelona has been cherished as an example of...



Soccer's 2008 Resolution? Keep Quiet

Wed, 2 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

I'm not good at making, and sticking to, New Year's resolutions — for myself, that is. But I do pretty well when it comes to making resolutions for other people. So, here are my modest proposals to various soccer groups for ways in which they can improve the sport. COACHES: Shut up. On the field and during the game, that is. These guys carry on as though they are quite insane, shouting, yelling, and screaming at everyone — their opponents, their own players, their bench, and the game officials...



As Coach of England, Capello Has No Envious Task

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

So English soccer — still covered with embarrassment at its recent failure to qualify for next year's European championship — has decided to go Italian. The Englishman, Steve McClaren, who presided over that latest debacle has been fired. Into the job comes Italy's Fabio Capello, who is given the task of trying to get England's national team to be as good as it always thinks it is. His job — for which he will be paid a reported $8 million a year — may well be impossible. Making England a world...



Pure Goal Scorers Are a Dying Breed

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

Goal scorers are the shining gems of soccer, the players who light up a game, who bring a stadium to its feet, and who adorn the sport with most of its magic moments. I mean the specialist goal scorers: the strikers, the ones who have made an art of goal scoring. Sadly, we don't have as many of them as we used to have. Look at the tactical formations used by most teams these days, and you'll see why. Where there used to be at least three forwards, there is now often just one. Back in the 1960s...



Backlash Toward Brazilian Style Unfair

Tue, 4 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

Soccer does not have a silly season: It operates permanently in a world that borders on the absurd, and it's never very difficult to come up with recent examples of silliness. Maybe they come from the press. I'm staring at one of those right now, a headline about the poor form of the Spanish club, Valencia, under Ronald Koeman, its new Dutch coach: "Koeman Demands Improvement as Valencia Hit Rock Bottom." Really? Okay, that's just plain silly. But there's another version of silly — what George...



At New Low, British Soccer Must Re-Evaluate Tactics

Tue, 27 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

It is widely believed that sometime in the 1960s, the sun did what it was never supposed to do: It finally set on the British Empire. I think not. Oh sure, the territorial possessions disappeared, but one aspect of the British imperial presence remained, and has grown much stronger: The sport of soccer. This is now an activity on which the sun shines perpetually — and never was the global reach of soccer more in evidence than during this past week. As the qualifying games for next year's...



Rift Between FIFA, Clubs To Dictate Soccer's Future

Tue, 20 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

Soccer's past is easily summed up: From a variety of primitive kicking games, it developed slowly into the world's most popular sport. Soccer's present is a bit more complicated, for from that base of worldwide popularity, there has grown a multi-billion dollar global business. And with wealth and power have come enormous problems — problems that forewarn of a troubled future. The makings of a huge split in the sport have been apparent for decades. They have been repeatedly papered over. But...



Dynamo Tops Revolution To Win Second Straight Cup

Mon, 19 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

WASHINGTON — Long after the final whistle, the great orange party carried on. Chants of "Thank you, Dynamo!" thundered from hundreds of fans wearing orange shirts, orange hair, and even orange hard hats as they made the stands bounce at RFK Stadium. On the field in the middle of the celebration, with grass stains on his orange socks, stood Houston Dynamo defender Eddie Robinson. He clutched the MLS Cup trophy and soaked in the fact that he now will own four championship rings. "This is...



MLS Needs an Immediate Dose of 'Sexy Soccer'

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

Sexy soccer is to be the theme of next year's Los Angeles Galaxy. The guy who coined the phrase, Dutchman Ruud Gullit, is the Galaxy's new coach; at his command he has David Beckham, reckoned by many to be the game's sexiest superstar. I'm not aware that Gullit has ever issued a definition of what he means by sexy soccer, so I shall give my version of it. Sexy soccer is emotional soccer, for sure, soccer that excites. It's attacking soccer, goal-scoring soccer. It's soccer that quickens the...



Arena the Latest in Rash of Coaching Exits

Tue, 6 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

Bruce Arena is out as the coach of the Red Bulls. Fired? Resigned? Neither, or is it both? His departure is the result of a "mutual agreement," says the Red Bulls' management. Whichever, Arena's departure does not come as a surprise. In this age of instant success, Arena was given a year to produce, and he didn't do it. Further damaging his cause, he never came close to fielding an exciting team. "Considering the resources we've committed to this club, we expect results quickly," said the Red...



Arena Fails To Bring Any Life to the Red Bulls

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 00:00:00 EST

You have to wonder — does Bruce Arena enjoy coaching the Red Bulls? Maybe he does, but that's not the attitude that comes across. For some time now, Arena's public persona has radiated, if not boredom, certainly a lack of discernible enthusiasm. Asked recently to sum up his first year with the club, Arena replied that the team had got better, had scored more goals, had achieved a few more points on the road, and had finished sixth out of 13 teams. All true, but hardly an inspiring list of...



Beckham's MLS Season Stumbles to End

Tue, 23 Oct 2007 00:00:00 EST

The Los Angeles Galaxy's turbulent season — and its slender hopes for a playoff spot — came to an end over the weekend when it lost 0–1 to the Chicago Fire. Despite the millions of dollars heaped upon David Beckham by the Galaxy, the English superstar turned out to be a total flop on the field. And it was a rather foolish flop, too, for it was Beckham's own insistence on playing too many games, and on playing when he clearly wasn't fit, that sabotaged his performance. The awful, unthinkable...



Brazil Coach's New Methods Buck a Tradition of Scoring

Tue, 16 Oct 2007 00:00:00 EST

Brazil managed, on Sunday, to do what no one had thought it was capable of doing: It played 90 minutes of totally boring, relentlessly negative soccer. The result, in Brazil's first qualifying game for the 2010 World Cup, was a tedious 0–0 tie with Colombia. This, mind you, was from a Brazil team that included Kaka and Ronaldinho, two of the most brilliant attacking players in the world. Excuses? Oh yes, there were excuses: This was a road game played at 2,840 yards altitude in Bogota on a...



Soccer Wants To Bend Business Rules

Tue, 9 Oct 2007 00:00:00 EST

For decades, we've been using nifty shorthand to define soccer's playing formations. We've talked of 4–2–4, 4–3–3, and 4–4–2, and lately of 4–5–1. You'll notice there are only 10 players in these formations. These are tactical setups, and the goalkeeper is largely irrelevant to tactics. But hold on. We have a newcomer in this numbers game: the 6 + 5. Eleven players? This tells you that this is not a playing formation. The goalkeeper is included because this is a political lineup. The 6 + 5 is...



American Exports Make Their Presence Known Overseas

Thu, 4 Oct 2007 00:00:00 EST

Normally it would take a World Cup for Americans to make as much news on the international soccer scene as they have these last few days. In the English Premier League, the Texan Clint Dempsey, playing for Fulham, went up for a header and broke Chelsea defender John Terry's cheekbone with an elbow strike. Terry happens to be the English national team captain. Seattle native Marcus Hahnemann, goalkeeper for Reading, was on the wrong end of a 7–4 loss to Portsmouth that set the record for the...



U.S. Team Winning Games, Not Style Points

Tue, 25 Sep 2007 00:00:00 EST

The United States has taken the Abby Road to the 2007 Women's World Cup semifinals, yet the team's overreliance on booting balls up to its powerful striker, Abby Wambach, hasn't earned Coach Greg Ryan's team many style points. While Wambach has scored four goals in as many games and notched an assist, the nation with the richest history in the women's game has hardly sparkled in this tournament. And its predictable strategy will be tested severely when it meets Brazil on Thursday, the...



MLS Needs Scoring To Kick-Start Playoffs

Tue, 18 Sep 2007 00:00:00 EST

When the dust settles over the MLS playoff scene — all will be decided within the next month — five of the league's 13 clubs will be out of the action. As things stand at the moment, those clubs will be Salt Lake, Toronto, Columbus, Colorado, and Los Angeles. There probably will not be a change in that situation. It is pretty much what could have been expected — except for the Los Angeles Galaxy. With super-megastar David Beckham aboard, the team was expected to sail into the playoffs. But the...



Latin American Flair Will Boost MLS Popularity

Tue, 11 Sep 2007 00:00:00 EST

Major League Soccer has a selling job to do, not merely with its players, or even its teams , but with the sport itself. It has to convince substantial numbers of Americans that soccer is attractive, interesting, and exciting enough to take a place alongside baseball, football, and basketball. It's a tricky assignment, because soccer is a notoriously fickle activity that comes in many forms, from sparkling to downright boring. This is a crucial fact that MLS has not handled particularly well...