Soccer In America

Major League Soccer

Clearing The Racks

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Do forgive me for situationally sending you to a shop link, but I thought you might like to peruse a list of the top 25 jersey-selling players in MLS this season. It's interesting to see nearly half of the guys on the list play for either Atlanta United (five mentions) or Seattle (six). New York City FC and Portland were the only other clubs with as many as three players in the list.

One To Crow On

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Some days, it can just plain be hard to find some happy news. This is not one of those days, my friends. You may have heard that, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Portland recently signed a five-year-old cancer battler named Derrick Tellez to a one-day contract just so he could fulfill his dream of being a Timbers first-teamer.

Case Open

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I am truly not smart enough about business matters to explain the possible splintering ramifications for MLS and/or future youth prospects from this. I kinda assume they would be significant. Either way, in my admittedly lay opinion, it seems that it would be both reasonable and beneficial for America to fall in line with the world on this particular issue.

It's Just Business

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It should come as little surprise, really, but home front TV outcast MLS has suddenly become a hot property around the globe. It's a little hard to calculate exactly at this moment, but it seems the actual number of matches broadcast has not changed too much from last season. However, several new negotiations could bump Major League Soccer to new viewership heights away while the home ratings

Get ready to crank up the Yawn-Master 3000.

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Yet another outlet has been somehow convinced to pay Frank Deford for yet another tired, often exaggerated (if not downright incorrect) soccer whine, this time with the duh-worthy supposed bombshell that MLS is not the greatest league in the world already. Maybe someone should go ask him how strong the NFL looked in 1940.

Lookin' at our Gucci, it's about that time.

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Chicago and champs L.A. will kick off the new MLS season tonight, and then it all starts getting crazy with a full slate of games tomorrow. Be sure to check out the MLSS season guide net-opedia and the official YouTube channel for all the individual team preview bits. The Round 1 game that is getting the biggest spotlight seems to be Orlando v.

United States Men's National Team

The Five-Year Stare

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Before we get started, please do forgive me for taking this long. To be quite frank, I spent the first few days after the USMNT's gasp-worthy World Cup qualifying failure staring off into space. I simply couldn't believe it was real. This was me from the final whistle last Tuesday night until Friday: I was in a daze, folks.

'Scuse me while I roll my eyes

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This new US Soccer "stand for the anthem or else" policy is silly, as is the fact that punishment for disobeying the edict will not be uniform. Not only is this policy decidedly un-American, it's all set up to be unevenly judged. And I hate to break it to Soccer House, but (whether or not it is intended to be) it also reeks of being one more way to exert control over the ladies.

Mikey's Turn

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To quote Phil Collins: I missed again: SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Friday, December 18th, 2015) – Michael Bradley, a midfielder for the US National Team, has won the "2015 Player of the Year Award", presented by Fútbol de Primera for the last 25 years and chosen by journalists from across the nation from all platforms.

That time again.

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I cannot tell a lie: this was easily the hardest time I have had filling out a Fútbol de Primera Player of the Year ballot. Usually, I return my vote quite quickly, but this year I have waited until deadline day to make a decision. As always, my vote comes down to USMNT performance alone; no club exploits factored in whatsoever.

Ta-da!

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This should be a doozy:America is now officially set to host a Copa America Centenario party next year. I will remind you that 24 cities are in the race to host games. I might have to bounce over for this one. - Greg Seltzer

ATTN: Milwaukee-Area Folk

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You have a pretty special day with native son Jay DeMerit coming up next Saturday. It is a four-part event, you can register for each bit here. - Greg Seltzer

I think Mikey is ready.

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Games against Mexico are just different. There's no other way to put it. The passion. The colors. The respect. The hate. Growing up these are the games I dreamed of playing in. When the lights come on brightest. Azteca. Columbus. Jeonju. The Rose Bowl. The history is all there. And on 10/10 we get the chance to write a new chapter.

It is about damn time.

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The USMNT finally returns to St. Louis, and just in time to begin World Cup qualifying. The first groups were drawn for a few confederations yesterday, you can check them all out here. - Greg Seltzer

Here is one to kick around.

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The Guardian has run a little balloting exercise with 20 scribes to come up with a list of the top 25 USMNT players of all-time. Here is a list of the voters, and here is the overall tally. I will need a little time to digest their list and formulate my own, but right off the top, I will say it is criminal that John O'Brien is tied for 39th behind a slew of guys from a far weaker era of the sport

Survey says: X X

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Maybe it is not quite a family feud, but Sporting KC boss Peter Vermes and actual real life Nat Matt Besler have hit the buzzer on the recent USMNT fitness critique(/excuse) given by Jurgen Klinsmann. To succinctly distill the Vermes take, he termed the comments 'utterly ridiculous'. Seems fair to me considering Klinsi did not even use all his subs in the Chile loss.

Videos

When We Wish Upon A Star

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Borussia Dortmund star Chrstian Pulisic got the 60 Minutes treatment on Sunday night. I could not figure out how to disable the stinkin' autoplay on this video, so what you see below is actually a photo of the CBS video box - click it and it will take you to the show's video player. - Greg Seltzer

KC's Cups Runneth Over

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In case you missed it, Sporting KC raised the US Open Cup for the fourth time (and third time in the last six years) with a prototypical 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night. You can catch my player ratings for both teams over at MLSS shortly. For now, dig the scenes. - Greg Seltzer

The People's Court

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I am not necessarily taking a side here, but I wanted to offer up the ladies' viewpoints as the USWNT battles US Soccer in a wage discrimination case. - Greg Seltzer

Timmy In The Morning

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Everton netminder Tim Howard joined Good Morning America yesterday. Enjoy. ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos - Greg Seltzer

Morris says "Nein"

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There's no telling of the reason at this time, but if Jordan Morris decided to stay home because the path to games is easier, then I'm not a fan of the decision. And while we're on the topic, let's just be clear about something else: it is not the USMNT staff's job to "support" MLS. It is their job to win and develop international players.

sheCarly

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Congrats to the obvious choice for US Soccer Female Player of the Year! [Photo: USsoccer.com]- Greg Seltzer

Grrrrl Power

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It took a couple days, but we now have the full highlights from the USWNT win over rivals China from this weekend. Of course, Abby Wambach will say goodbye to the team and the fans when these two teams reunite tonight in New Orleans. And US Soccer has also been kind enough to corral clips of all 184 of her goals on one page.

'Tis The Season... And I Love It

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A guest on yesterday's Ellen happens to love soccer, the Galaxy, and Gyasi Zardes most of all. So the US forward came on the show as a quick surprise visitor bearing gifts. - Greg Seltzer

That Time Again

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Giddyup, friends. - Greg Seltzer

LD hits STL

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At a field located a mere hop and skip from my parent's house, Landon Donovan turned up the other night to surprise the Lou Fusz Soccer teams during practice. - Greg Seltzer

Bradley makes a little history

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Stabæk boss Bob Bradley shared a few thoughts after becoming the first American to manage a club into Europe. The Blue Ones came from behind late to top IK Start 3-2 on Sunday night, earning an invite to the next edition of the Europa League. Will he still be in charge by July, when first round qualifying begins?

Real Talk with Landon Donovan

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Ya know... he ain't lyin'. - Greg Seltzer

Real Husbands of Hollywood

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It's just a shame Kevin Hart's research never made it to the training ground. - Greg Seltzer

The Aftermath (not presented by Dr. Dre)

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- Greg Seltzer

Bob The Builder

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We make a lot of fun of English media outlets around here - and then there is FourFourTwo magazine, which gets respect. The new issue ranks the current top 50 managers in the world, and hey whaddyaknow about that? The US of A has two coaches on the list, Bruce Arena at #46 and Bob Bradley all the way up at #24.

And **that's** why you don't heckle a comedian with an HBO show.

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Oh no, Jack Warner... no. And this play-acting crook wants to call John Oliver a 'fool' in public? Yeeeeeah, ya oughn't-a-done that. Program note: For those fully up to date on the progression here, you can simply watch the top (and most recent) video. For those completely unaware of what's gone on between these two until now, start from the bottom video and work up.

Erm... sorry, just dicing a few onions here.

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Not really sure what I could add to this kind of moment. I will say Courtney sure looks like an aerial beast, so it would be nice if she could find her way back to competition. - Greg Seltzer

Mexico

Facebook tiempo de partidos

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Folks back in the States just were served a Mexican treat. Starting with Saturday's monster Club América-Chivas derby, Liga MX will begin live streaming some Univision matches in English on Facebook. There will be 46 in all, including playoff tilts.So, in addition to the other action, enjoy keeping tabs on Omar Gonzalez and watching our Tijuana boys chase another crown.

S... WTHATT? - World Cup Edition

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I haven't had time to cast about over this until now, but it's been bugging the crap out of me since I heard about it over the weekend. I'm not sure if our federation is simply being polite, but color me astonished that US Soccer is publicly entertaining the concept of a joint World Cup 2026 bid with Mexico.

U.S. Women's National Team

Really, though?

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So I woke up to this.Loook, I get the legal argument and all... but, really, seriously, there wasn't a way for USSF to handle this before filing court papers against the World Cup champs? When did we become so intractable? Talk it out, man.- Greg Seltzer

It's about damn time.

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- Greg Seltzer

The Rest

Please tell me this is an early prank.

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Otherwise, I don't get it. I mean, it seeeems like USL side Charlotte have signed Randy Moss (yes, that Randy Moss), but then I look at the date... yeah, this is weird. Do they need to sell tickets that bad or something? - Greg Seltzer

Set your calendars, NYC people

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A few NSC pals will be taking part in a cool discussion at NYU on April 15th titled "The New Resonance of Soccer" - which will cover 'the rise of soccer in relation to changes in American culture and mainstream sports'. If you are nearby, check it out. Here are the details. - Greg Seltzer

What about Bob? I'll tell you about Bob.

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A full MLSS report will be up momentarily, but I can tell you that Stabæk have started fresh contract talks with coach Bob Bradley. He is set to run out of contract at year's end, but I have been told that it currently looks like a better than 50% chance he is back next season. And for anyone who might be bummed he hasn't moved on to a more prestigious job yet, think of it this way: if they can