It is Christmas in Africa. Except replace the snow with grass, replace Santa’s little helpers with 23-man rosters from 16 nations, replace Santa Claus with South African President Jacob Zuma and a dash of extra scandal, and remove all presents and replace them with the Africa Goblet of Nations. All of a sudden, just like I said, it is Christmas in Africa. Clean out your chimney, the fun starts now.
About week ago, we learned that Bob Bradley, the U.S. coach since 2006, was being unceremoniously retired from his position by USSF President Sunil Gulati. Apparently lots of people on Facebook “liked” that. The fact that Bradley was being fired was expertly hidden by the Federation. No one had the scoop. But the shock didn’t last long. Soon thereafter, speculation was rife about who would be the next leader of a men’s national team that has been growing in popularity and profile over the last few cycles.
Enter the guy who everyone thought would be the guy. Jurgen Klinsmann. He’s German. Continue Reading »
Fresh out of medical school, a young Joey Barton is pondering life’s big questions. Using his medical degree is important, but he feels a higher calling. Shaped by legends of freedom fighters, Joey knows that the pursuit of a conventional medical practice would leave him feeling empty. So he decides to fix his rickety motorcycle and cruise around South America. There is no itinerary, no ultimate physical destination. Joey’s destination is a spiritual one. The goal is to find his place and to align his moral compass with his training, and ultimately to discover an inspired direction. Continue Reading »
People have their opinions on MLS. The level of play, the format, the league’s handling of investment, and referees, among other things, are regular topics of debate. Sounds like a regular league, right? But that’s not enough to stop the comparisons.
Making comparisons is part of our DNA. And I’m not talking about soccer fans; I’m talking about humans. We compare what exists to what we are familiar with. We compare our romantic relationships to our parents’ relationships and the contrived relations we see on TV and in movies. We judge the state of our economies, not by what is, but by comparing what is to what was. Our relationship with soccer is no different. Continue Reading »