The Soccer Daily

Soccer Players

The MLS Goalkeeper in 2012

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 28, 2012) US Soccer Players – If you've paid any attention at all to Major League Soccer this season, you might have noticed what we'll politely refer to as 'creative' goalkeeping decisions. Once upon a time, MLS was a league where a team had to work at it to have an unreliable goalkeeper.

The playoff race

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 27, 2012) US Soccer Players – Call it the pull towards mediocrity. Major League Soccer's odd version of parity is once again calling good teams into question while making sure there's no gap at the top of the table. With the top three even on games played, there's five points between first and third.

The continuing story of the Champions League

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 22, 2012) US Soccer Players – We'll start by picking up on the CONCACAF Champions League conversation from Wednesday. The quick version can be summarized by Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. Following last night's game, he somewhat rhetorically asked: "I sometimes wonder why we spend all the resources and time we do in this competition when sometimes it looks really bizarre.

Placing the Champions League

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 22, 2012) US Soccer Players – There's an idea in play across North and Central America that a tournament can be invested with meaning simply because it exists. That's certainly the carryover from the breadth of the CONCACAF Champions League, a tournament that requires multiple teams and multiple steps to figure out which Liga MX club will represent the Confederation at FIFA's Club World Cup.

Everton's season

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 17, 2012) US Soccer Players – For those of you who aren't fans of the regular revolving contenders in England's Premier League, there's some good news for 2012-13. Though the dueling Manchesters will almost assuredly be competing for the title, the London contingent might not have done enough.

Five Things from Mexico

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 16, 2012) US Soccer Players – The United States won a game that many had already written off well before kickoff on Wednesday night at Azteca Stadium. Instead, a group of USA players decided why not now and why not us. The result was a reassessment of what was supposed to be taken for granted about a USA team on the road in Mexico City.

What's the point of August friendlies?

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 14, 2012) US Soccer Players – If you're a European club, there's a quick and abrupt answer. There is none. Surprisingly, FIFA actually listened and we only have one more year to enjoy watching the August date disrupt the early goings of the European seasons. Will any tears fall for a friendly date that seems designed to remind everyone that FIFA sets the schedule?

Showing The Cup

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 10, 2012) US Soccer Players – It's reader response time, and this Friday we have one very long email from Jeff in Seattle sent in after reading our newsletter. Fortunately, he raises several points worth discussing. So here we go. Jeff writes: I find it completely baffling and frustrating how US Soccer can, one week prior to the final, decide to award the TV contract for the US.

Seattle and the complete MLS team

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 7, 2012) US Soccer Players – On Wednesday night (9pm ET - GolTV), Seattle will attempt to become the greatest US Open Cup team of the contemporary era. Unlike the original North American Soccer League, Major League Soccer has always put value into the domestic cup tournament.

Scottish soccer kicks off its future

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 3, 2012) US Soccer Players – The Scottish Premier League kicks off this weekend down one Glasgow-based club but still in possession of a television deal. Even in the unchartered territory that the SPL finds itself, things could be worse. Sure, that TV deal includes showing a selection of Rangers games three leagues down but that was to be expected.

Playing to win in Olympic soccer

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 31, 2012) US Soccer Players – Once upon a time, a club in England was fighting to avoid relegation on the last day of the season. The team they were playing was safe and their league position wouldn't change win or lose. The week leading up to the game, that team made a lot of noise about playing their reserves since no one wants to get hurt on.

Basketball asks the Olympic soccer question

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 31, 2012) US Soccer Players – Well, of course the National Basketball Association is "interested" in following soccer's example with the Olympics. Numerous reports have the NBA pushing their sport's international governing body to go the route of FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.

Team GB, Brazil, and the MLS All-Stars

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 27, 2012) US Soccer Players – Almost as soon as it was obvious that Brazil would be the host for the 2014 World Cup, speculation arose as to how one of the best teams in the world would adequately prepare. As the thinking went, lack of meaningful games in the form of World Cup Qualifiers would be detrimental for Brazil.

All stars in Chester

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 25, 2012) US Soccer Players – The now-19 players selected to represent Major League Soccer against Chelsea find themselves in an interesting situation later tonight (ESPN2 - 8:30pm ET). In a game that once gave us Landon Donovan's impromptu tribute to Julie Foudy, the game has become more pressure test than fun.

Building for this Season

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 24, 2012) US Soccer Players – The insistence on building and keeping a core group of players in professional sports is something we see repeated across North American professional sports. In the National Football League, applying a franchise tag to a quarterback is almost a requirement.

This Summer's Challenge

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 18, 2012) US Soccer Players – It's somewhat fitting that it's Seattle opening the 2012 World Football Challenge. Last season, it was Seattle giving Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber the opening for one of the most repeated quotes in recent League history.

Scottish club soccer loses control

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 17, 2012) US Soccer Players – Scottish club soccer cedes control If you checked the Wikipedia page for Scotland's Third Division shortly after it was announced that Rangers would be playing there this season, you would've seen them listed as "Cheaters." For enough Scottish soccer fans, that's the carryover from the Rangers fall from the top of the club game to the bottom.

Scotland's Opportunity

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 13, 2012) US Soccer Players – Well, if nothing else it's now abundantly clear how the rest of Scottish soccer feels about Rangers. Our 54-time Scottish league champions are now member of the Third Division, the bottom level of Scottish professional soccer. It's an open question as to whether anybody without a rooting interest is still applauding the rest of the Scottish clubs for punishing Rangers as severely.

MLS and the Transfer Window

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 11, 2012) US Soccer Players – As we wait for the fun and games of the summer transfer market 2012 edition, most of the talk in Major League Soccer is about business as usual. That means figuring out if a foreign club will pay the League enough to transfer a player.

Major League Soccer's mixed message

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 10, 2012) US Soccer Players – Though it seems like we're suddenly a site devoted to whatever is happening with the Montreal Impact, they're the latest club to get looks of concern from those following the attendance table. Montreal has a rebuilt stadium and not enough willing fans to fill it.

Rangers anywhere but the Premier League

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 6, 2012) US Soccer Players – Oh Scotland, what are you really thinking? Our friends north of Hadrian's Wall are losing the plot over Rangers in all directions. Allow them back into the Scottish Premier League, and some would have the basic integrity of that august competition crumbling.

Chicago At Work

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (July 3, 2012) US Soccer Players – Major League Soccer has seven games on the schedule over the next two days, and another opportunity for a team or two to separate themselves. Up first is an unlikely choice. Houston plays Chicago in a game that could give us enough to argue one or the other as the true contender in the Eastern Conference.

What We Learned from EURO 2012

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 29, 2012) US Soccer Players – It's easy enough to allow Sunday's lopsided Euro 2012 final to overshadow the entire tournament. Yes, Spain once again showed it's them and everybody else at European level and likely the world. We get that, but what else can we take from the European Championships?

Rangers and the Immediate Future of Scottish Soccer

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 29, 2012) US Soccer Players – After discussing Italian club soccer in theory earlier this week, it's worth paying attention to what's happening with Scottish club soccer in practice. The quick version is that Rangers as we knew them went out of business on June 14th.

MLS New York

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 27, 2012) US Soccer Players -- It isn't really a surprise to anyone that's ever been to the former World's Fair site in Flushing, Queens that Major League Soccer is targeting it for a soccer stadium. The link was already there even before the New York Mets built their new stadium.

Italy's Immediate Future

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 26, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Prior to the start of Euro 2012, an Italian politician one-upped National Team coach Cesare Prandelli. As the latest Italian betting scandal unfolded, Prandelli said that not going to the European Championships 'wouldn't be a problem.

The Era of Soccer Specificity

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 25, 2012) US Soccer Players -- The New York Red Bulls had a lot to be proud of on Sunday night, including finally filling Red Bull Arena for a League game. Credit the home crowd for waiting to show up in numbers for an Eastern Conference matchup rather than becoming yet another club that saves the big show of support for when LA is in town.

Some Games Count More

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 22, 2012) US Soccer Players -- At least briefly, Cristiano Ronaldo's performance in Thursday's Euro 2012 quarterfinal revives the best player in the world debate. Lionel Messi has the trophy, but it's Ronaldo with the momentum. It's also Ronaldo himself that made a very cogent point earlier in the competition - he's the only one currently playing games that count.

When To Part Ways With An MLS Coach

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 19, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Let's pretend we're suddenly placed in charge of a struggling Major League Soccer club. We can figure out later what role each of us has, but let's assume we're both in the primary positions of influence within the organization. Though the team can point to a few positives, their own-field performance and long-term position in their local market are questionable.

The Philadelphia Change

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 14, 2012) US Soccer Players -- As with so many things, it wasn't just what happened on Wednesday afternoon in Chester, it was how it happened. The Philadelphia Union decide to part ways with manager Peter Nowak, a standard Major League Soccer turn of phrase that masks what might have actually happened.

Five Things For Guatemala

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 12, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Game two of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying for the USA has them on the road in Guatemala City (10pm ET - PPV). Here are five things to look out for as the United States plays for away points. Don't Let This Become An MLS Game That's the big threat Guatemala poses when the strongest players on their squad play in Major League.

Five Things For Antigua and Barbuda

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 8, 2012) US Soccer Players -- With the United States opening World Cup Qualifying tonight at Raymond James Stadium (7pm ET - ESPN) here's the return of my five things I'm looking for from tonight's game. We'll start with an obvious issue for any overmatched situation.

The New Euro Stadiums

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By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 5, 2012) US Soccer Players -- I remember as a kid reading that Montreal had built a late 70's version of a retractable roof stadium for the Olympics that didn't really work. It and the rest of the Olympic construction didn't come cheap, and the city would be paying off the debt for decades.

The Rest

Upside: To the video

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Their Words Other Sources Marlins Park to host soccer tourney that will match top club teams - from The Miami Herald's David J. Neal: The attraction of Marlins Park, especially for the July games, is obvious: a roof, air conditioning and it was built with soccer in mind, too. Kevin Payne is ‘very encouraged' about D.