In a league where parity reigns unlike any other, the tenure of Caleb Porter as manager of the Portland Timbers will go down as one of the most wildly successful in Major League Soccer’s 22-year existence. According to reports, that tenure has reached a shocking conclusion — by mutual consent — after a season in which the Timbers finished at the top of the Western Conference.
Here’s a pro tip for all you executives out there who want to run a professional soccer league: make sure your best team doesn’t disband the same week it wins the league championship.
Speaking of, it’s been one helluva week for the San Francisco Deltas — henceforth to be referred to as NASL’s bottle rockets. The Deltas came, they saw, they conquered then they got the hell out of Dodge, all within a span of two years.
Clint Dempsey, the all-time leading goal scorer in USMNT history was named Comeback Player of the Year by Major League Soccer on Wednesday, just edging out Columbus’ Federico Higuain. Dempsey missed much of the second half of the 2016 season with an irregular heartbeat but returned in 2017 to score 12 goals.
In the end, the snitches didn’t get any stitches. Jozy Altidore believed that video evidence would clear him of any wrongdoing during the tunnel bust up between Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls, resulting in red cards for both Altidore and Sacha Kljestan, but an independent panel has upheld Altidore’s one-game suspension after being unable to find enough evidence to overturn the ruling.
We joked about it a month ago, the idea of the U.S. hosting a summer tournament full of all the nations who were too cool to actually qualify for the World Cup. Turns out, U.S. Soccer is actually looking into doing just that.
Oh sweet baby Jesus, won’t you please just make this 2017 USMNT horror show stop? Can’t we just be done with it until, say, 2019 or 2020?
At halftime in Portugal vs. U.S., it’s been a tale of two decidedly different things, although both have to do with players that pundits around the nation plugged into their “GUARANTEED 2022 World Cup Starting XI” article.
As far as debuts go, it doesn’t get any better than this. 19-year-old Texan Weston McKennie, fresh off breaking into Schalke’s first team in the Bundesliga and earning his first cap for the USMNT, put his country ahead against the world’s third-ranked side, Portugal.
There’s a proverb or two that probably apply here, something about counting eggs before they hatch or putting the cart before the horse. But this is Major League Soccer, where allocation money and salary caps make fools of us all and expansion is the single greatest boon to owners’ pocketbooks since skyboxes. So really, this is business as usual.
Back before Anthony Precourt invested in the Columbus Crew in 2013, the Crew had a decidedly punk feel. Prior to going with a Bundesliga-inspired crest that’s actually quite nice, the Crew boasted the most ruffian logo in all of American sports with three dudes wearing construction hats beneath a giant stylization of the word “Crew”. It was hardcore, a tradition that’s been vociferously kept alive by the Nordecke supporters’ group and all who’ve given their voice to the #SavetheCrew movement.
Footy fans don't agree on much, but one thing most fans can agree on is soccer's extra time rules are generally awful. For most leagues, the general "30 minutes of extra time followed by a penalty shootout" format prevails, and that format is butt.
You know what format is better? Golden goal. That is, if a team scores in extra time, that's it. Game over. If the ball goes in the net, that's the last kick of the game, and everyone watching can pivot to doing something else. This format is also known as "sudden death" which is cool and spooky-sounding.