The Death of the American Soccer Troll

July 6, 2018

“My favorite media story of the World Cup is happening in Brian Phillips’s Twitter feed. Every few days, a certain kind of fan tells Phillips, one of the best soccer writers on the planet, that he shouldn’t use the word ‘soccer.’ He should use ‘football.’ There’s a name for this sort of pest: the soccer snob. But whenever I see another snob taking a dive, I wonder what happened to their counterpart: the American soccer troll. You know, the person who showed up during every World Cup to declare that soccer (they’d never call it ‘football’) sucked; that the sport was deeply and fatally un-American; that the U.S. soccer boom was a mass illusion schemed up by a few guys in Brooklyn. In 2018, the American soccer troll has more or less vanished. They’re sitting out the World Cup as surely as the U.S. men’s national team.” The Ringer

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The Joy of Watching a World Cup Without the U.S.

June 12, 2018

“I spent the summer of 2010 in the sweltering Mississippi Delta, swatting mosquitoes the size of quarters and, regrettably, not watching the U.S. men’s national team play in the World Cup. During the previous few World Cups, I’d snuck into bars underage, woken up before sunrise, and hidden livestreams behind barely professional-looking spreadsheets all so that I could watch Americans play soccer against the world’s best.” New Republic


Hello, World

June 10, 2018

“In 1990, I spent one of the single greatest summers of my life as a counselor at a sleepaway camp in Maine. I was that requisite creepy English guy with cut-off denim shorts who spent seven glorious weeks attempting to fathom the American traditions of lanyard-making, Devil Dogs and skyhook wedgies. Yet my dominant memory remains America’s cruel indifference to the sport I love: soccer.” Washington Post


Own Goal: The Inside Story of How the USMNT Missed the 2018 World Cup

June 6, 2018


“In October, the United States failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in more than 30 years. A loss to Trinidad and Tobago sealed their fate, but according to players, coaches, commentators, and executives across American soccer, the disaster doesn’t come down to just one unfortunate result. No, it was the culmination of nearly a decade of mismanagement that broke the team’s spirit and condemned them to failure.” The Ringer (Video)


North American Bid for World Cup Gets High Marks, but Still Needs Votes

June 2, 2018

“The organization that controls soccer’s World Cup released a report Friday that raises serious concerns about Morocco’s ability to host the 2026 event, but the country’s bid was not disqualified. The assessment by evaluators for FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, could have essentially delivered the World Cup back to North America for the first time since 1994 had it outright rejected Morocco’s bid on technical grounds. Instead, Morocco’s survival sets up a furious two-week chase for votes against the other remaining bid, a combined entry from the United States, Mexico and Canada. …” NY Times


Reliving Giants Stadium

April 29, 2018

“The 1994 World Cup in America was the first for Luke Constable of the brilliantly named RGSOAS (Ruud Gullit Sitting on a Shed). His native England hadn’t qualified but thanks to his Irish grandfather, Luke was rooting for the Republic. Having missed the full game with Italy, the myth around the match had grown. Houghton’s goal and McGrath’s performance became legendary as the years went on. Luke has never seen the game in its entirety…until now. …” Pog Mo Goal


2018 MLS Ambition Rankings: Which Clubs Raise the Bar Highest as the League Grows?

April 25, 2018

“With each passing season, the potential rises and the boundaries are stretched. We’ve see it recently on the field, where Toronto FC became the first MLS club to eliminate two Mexican foes during a single Concacaf Champions League campaign. And we see it off the field. Look to D.C. United and Los Angeles FC, which are building stadiums in the heart of two of the USA’s biggest markets. Or behold Atlanta United, which broke the domestic transfer record with its $15 million acquisition of an Argentine teenager. The leeway clubs now have to operate within MLS’s limits (even if some are self-imposed) is expanding. …” SI (Video)