MLS SuperDraft

Similar to many American workers over the past 15 years, MLS players might be the only American athletes feeling the pinch of globalization. The Wall Street Journal’s headline this week basically sums up the problem with an article previewing the upcoming SuperDraft as “The Most Meaningless Draft in Sports.”

The SuperDraft is limping along like a dog on three legs. It used to be the premiere event in the American soccer world. With piggy-backing the event with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America conference, it was an opportunity for the industry to get together and advance the entire operation. The draft used to be 6 rounds with similar traditions to other, more well known, American college drafts. MLS draft picks would get their team scarf, shake the commissioner’s hand, and have a day to remember. Continue reading With MLS SuperDraft Fading Into Obscurity, What’s Next? »

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Suarez and Meireles (John Sibley/ Action Images)

On October 15, 2010, New England Sports Ventures, the investment company chaired by John Henry (and now called the Fenway Sports Group), completed its purchase of Liverpool FC from George N. Gillett, Jr. and Tom Hicks.  Henry’s purchase of the club, which was concluded despite the protests of Hicks and Gillett (who believed that the club was worth far more than the £300 million Henry paid), brought a close to one of the most controversial periods in the history of Liverpool FC, both on and off the field. In 2005, two years before Hicks and Gillett bought the club for £218.9 million, Liverpool had been crowned European champions, having defeated AC Milan on penalty kicks in a thrilling final. Only a few months after they bought the club in February 2007, Liverpool once again appeared in the final of the Champions League, this time losing to AC Milan. However, by the end of Hicks’s and Gillett’s tenure as owners, Liverpool had receded to the depths of the English Premier League, residing in 18th place (out of 20 teams) when John Henry completed the purchase of the Merseyside club. Continue reading A Closer Look at Liverpool FC’s American Owners »

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Jurgen Klinsmann (Hunter Martin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

We all know who the girl on the train is. She’s the girl on the commuter rail who looks mysterious, intriguing, and dangerous — all at once. Of course, you don’t talk to the girl on the train, because it’s 7:57 in the morning and no one wants to start their day off with flirtation. And, of course, this only adds fuel to the already brewing stimulation.

And what is that stimulation exactly?

The GOTT (girl on the train) sparks the intangible “it” feeling. You can’t pin-point how you feel about the sentiment, or the person. I suppose this is because you don’t really know her, and thus you don’t know if the vertigo is actually justified. Thereinlies the dilemma with the GOTT. You can’t quite circumvent that palatable feeling persistently evoking, because you don’t what she is. And it doesn’t help you inexplicably act with the smoothness of a 17 year-old before prom around her. Consequently, the GOTT becomes a cross between fusion energy (something real that cannot be harnessed) and also the lochness monster (a speciously construed creature). You are left with expectations that cannot possibly be met, which only adds to the quagmire that is the GOTT. You don’t want to meet the GOTT because you’d rather imagine her for what she is to you rather then what she ACTUALLY is — if that makes sense. The perception before interaction is more important than the reality. Perception creates promise and potential; reality creates limits and disappointment.

The reason I bring up the GOTT is not to make you become more introverted (seriously, talk to the girl if you like her), but because the GOTT appeared in the form of coach recently. And The United States Men’s National Soccer Team did the unthinkable. They took those last couple hundred words I wrote about being pensive, and said “Eff you.” Continue reading Jurgen Klinsmann’s US Soccer Coaching Debut Ends Anticipation »

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Revolution vs. Manchester United

Legendary Manchester United, the world’s most popular soccer (or futbol) team and world’s richest sports franchise, paid a visit to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. on Wednesday night to take on the New England Revolution, the worst team (3-8-7) in the MLS’s Eastern Conference. It’s a classic David vs. Goliath… but more like David’s infant son (the Revs) vs. five Goliaths (Man U).

Yet, after 45 minutes, the 51,000+ fans at Gillette Stadium and the thousands of others watching at home on ESPN were witnessing a potentially stunning result: the Revs starting lineup had dueled to a 0-0 draw with Wayne Rooney and the Red Devils at halftime. Continue reading Manchester United Tops Revolution 4-1 in Friendly Match »

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U.S. Men's Soccer Team (© MEXSPORT)

The United States men’s soccer team did what it was supposed to do, making it to the Gold Cup Final. Right? Jozy Altidore and Stuart Holden both were not available for the final due to injury, or it would have been a different game. Right? Steve Cherundolo’s injury was a deathblow and the U.S. was playing an away game on home turf, justifying a 4-2 loss to Mexico. Right?

Wrong, on all counts.

The failure of the USA to win the Gold Cup cannot be looked upon as a shortsighted setback. Continue reading U.S. Soccer: After the Gold Cup, Where Do We Go from Here? »

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Qatar accepts their trophy for winning the 2022 bid. (AFP / Getty Images)

As announced last week in Zurich, in two of the biggest upsets in World Cup voting history, Russia and Qatar were awarded the host nation honors for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments respectively. With the vote last week, FIFA proves yet again that not only is it the governing body for the world’s most popular sport, but it also leads its peers as a medium for ending racism and supporting peace worldwide. As expected, both Russia and Qatar are ecstatic over the decisions, but much attention is being paid to the politicking that went on behind the scenes, FIFA’s problematic current bidding structure, and the monumental challenges that face the host nations.

England’s downfall is Russia’s triumph

Russia’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup beat out bids from England, a joint bid from the Netherlands and Belgium, and a joint bid from Spain and Portugal. England, who is arguably the heart of the soccer world (both in talent and passion), is utterly devastated. And maybe with good reason. As the epicenter of the soccer world, they haven’t hosted the tournament since 1966. They have an embarrassment of riches in terms of infrastructure (stadiums, safety, transport, airports etc.), the most passionate fanbase in the world, and their bid committee included Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William, and David Beckham amongst others. By all accounts, their final presentation was flawless, and before the voting, they were the favorite to win the bid. Not only did they not win the bid, but they were out after the first round. Per FIFA protocol, voting goes on a round-by-round basis with the bid getting the fewest votes being dropped. So essentially England was the first out. Very surprising at the least. Continue reading The Times They Are A Changin’: Russia and Qatar To Host 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups »

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Tayler Twellman (photo courtesy of www2.scholastic.com)

One of the greatest careers the MLS has ever seen came to an abrupt (although not unexpected) ending earlier this week. Throughout eight seasons with the Revolution, Tayler Twellman has had to battle through seven diagnosed concussions, sinus problems, broken cheekbones, broken feet, and innumerable muscle tears and strains.  When, earlier this year, Twellman was faced with the sobering question of enjoying a healthy, productive existence for the rest of his life or continuing the play soccer, it was a no-brainer for him. Despite some questionable decisions and play over the years, Twellman played a huge role in advancing not just the New England Revolution, but the MLS in general.

A Resurgence in Foxboro

Taylor was drafted by the Revs in 2002 as the second overall pick. At the time, the Revs were really struggling both on the field and off. There was a clear lack of goal scoring on the pitch, but just as important, there was no real leader, or ‘face’ of the franchise which would help them endear themselves to the uber competitive sports scene in New England.
Continue reading Injuries Force Tayler Twellman Into Early Retirement »

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