Exclusive interview with new USA coach Bruce Arena

December 5, 2016

“USA coach Bruce Arena told The Set Pieces that Christian Pulisic has a “very bright future” with the national team after meeting the Borussia Dortmund teenager for the first time at the weekend. Having recently been appointed as US head coach for a second time, Arena was in Germany to check in on the American contingent in the Bundesliga. On Saturday, he attended Dortmund’s victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach at Signal Iduna Park to watch Pulisic and Gladbach’s flying full-back Fabian Johnson.” the set pieces

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U.S. Men’s Soccer Has an Ally in Misery: England

November 26, 2016

“A humbling defeat at the hands of a nation a small fraction of your size. A manager briskly fired, hastily replaced on a messy temporary basis by pretty much the only guy anyone could think of at the time. Question marks that linger not just about whether the team is good enough, but whether the players themselves care enough about representing their country.” NY Times


Costa Rica Pummels the U.S. and Puts World Cup Qualifying in Doubt

November 20, 2016

“The defense was a shambles. The midfield had little presence. The attack, such as it was, just spun and sputtered. How bad was it? It is difficult to know where to start. There was no fluidity from the United States national team here on Tuesday night against Costa Rica. No flow, no rhythm, no concentrated push, either early or late. There was no sturdiness or stoutness or resilience in a game that felt critical. There was no creativity.” NY Times


Confronting Columbus: How Mexico is planning to combat its Dos A Cero past

November 18, 2016

“It’s possible that Mexico’s most significant call-up ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against the U.S. isn’t on coach Juan Carlos Osorio’s roster. This call-up won’t be in uniform in Columbus. He won’t break a sweat or kick a ball. Imanol Ibarrondo’s contribution is expected to be intangible. It’ll have to be. He’s Spanish, not Mexican, and he’s 49 years old. Ibarrondo once played professionally. He’s now an author, sports psychologist, consultant and motivational speaker who tries to help athletes and coaches bring out their best. Columbus is a place where Mexico certainly hasn’t been at its best.” SI


‘It Is America. But I Want to Play in Mexico.’

November 11, 2016

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“EL PASO, Tex. — Night fell and the thick, heavy air was cut by a sharp, chilling breeze, the sort of West Texas wind that made it feel as if the whole city had a fever. Was it hot out, or cold? The children on the field at Pico Norte Park, which is little more than a bumpy, narrow strip of grass lined for soccer, wore uniforms and quickly broke a sweat; the parents ringing the sideline wore jeans and sleeves as they watched and cheered and occasionally shivered.” NY Times


USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier given added tension in wake of Trump victory

November 11, 2016

“Tensions ahead of an always charged USA-Mexico soccer game this Friday have suddenly been magnified by the election of Donald Trump as America’s 45th president. Trump ran a scorched-earth campaign that openly denigrated immigrants and called for the mass deportation of Mexicans from the United States. His incendiary rhetoric – Trump called Mexican immigrants, among other things, rapists – could make for an ugly backdrop to a rivalry that has already had its fair share of nasty incidents. There is a real fear that the rhetoric Trump used could make its way into the stands and streets around the stadium, targeting Mexican fans.” Guardian


The rise of Soccer: The growing influence of USA on football

October 23, 2016

“Football is on the rise in America. Nobody can deny that. Children all over the country are getting into the sport and are becoming better and better at it. This progress has been shown over the last few decades. In 1990, America didn’t even have a professional football league and had just qualified for their first world cup in over twenty years. Twenty-six years later they have a thriving league in the MLS and are becoming more and more competitive on the international scene. Another, less spoken about, the thing that America is doing in the football world the takeover of multiple clubs across Europe. This takeover has led to both the first American manager in the Premier League and American style of business being implemented in some of Europe’s biggest clubs.” Outside of the Boot