Josef Martinez tore up Major League Soccer last season with Atlanta United. The native of Valencia, Venezuela, scored 19 goals in 20 appearances and was a finalist behind teammate Miguel Almiron for 2017 MLS Newcomer of the Year. Martinez’s success set the stage for a new wave of Venezuelans in MLS.
In an age when almost every USMNT-eligible soccer player is intensely analyzed, scrutinized and often idealized, one American has gone more or less unnoticed throughout a lengthy, still-ongoing career that included starting for Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. California-born Paul Rachubka has played for 17 different clubs in 17 years, but who the heck is he?
When the starting lineups for Saturday’s El Clasico were announced, there was really only one surprise in the 22 players named for battle: Zinedine Zidane’s decision to drop Isco to the bench in favor of Mateo Kovacic. For many, Isco has been Real’s best player over the past year — a footballer of sublime skill, technique and playmaking ability — while Kovacic’s inclusion meant one thing only: Lionel Messi limitation.
The showdowns between Real Madrid and Barcelona, taking place at least twice per year, are the premier sporting events in Spain. Millions around the world tune in to watch the two richest teams in the world’s most popular sport face off in perhaps the world’s greatest rivalry. Earlier this week, we took a look at how the number of worldwide El Clasico viewers compared to the Super Bowl, the biggest event in Spain compared to the biggest event in the U.S.
Men's college soccer in the United States is an anomaly. No other country sends potential professional athletes to academic universities instead of athletic academies like the U.S. While this is the accepted norm in football and basketball, the two most popular sports in the country, soccer operates differently throughout the world.
Lionel Messi was never a little-known quantity. When he scored nearly 500 goals for Newell’s Old Boys as a young boy, people took notice. That’s why Barcelona made the highly unusual decision to sign a 13-year-old foreign player. That’s why, aged 17 years, three months and 22 days, he became Barcelona’s youngest-ever representative in an official competition. It’s why he represented La Albiceleste, the two-time world champions, at 18.
Last week, Serie A news revolved around goals. Goals change games was the mantra. After Juventus beat Napoli, it seemed like it was all change at the top of the table.
Instead, many of this week’s most important matches were goalless. Not bad, as such, but not quite the high scoring affairs we’d hoped for.
No one ever said the FIFA corruption trials would be normal. But I don’t think anyone expected this bizarre turn of events. Kevin Jonas was called to the stand to testify for the prosecution during the ongoing court case on Thursday at a U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn.
You probably don’t know who Paul Lapointe is. It’s OK. After today, you may not need to know who he is.
When Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived at Inter Milan from Juventus for nearly $30 million in August 2006, the 24-year-old Swede was thrilled over the possibility of forming a devastating and prolonged partnership with 24-year-old Brazilian striker Adriano. The two had dominated Italian football since 2004, and the Nerazzurri looked set to rule the competition for years to come with two of the world’s most feared young forwards.