By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 2, 2021) US Soccer Players - On one level, Bruce Arena's words made sense. On another, they were bewildering. "We don't have the best roster in the league. It's got to get a little bit better, for sure," said the veteran coach after his New England Revolution fell to New York City FC on penalties in Tuesday night's MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal match at . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 25, 2021) US Soccer Players - While most of the United States gears down for one of the country's major holidays, it's a full work week across Lake Ontario at Toronto FC, and a busy one at that. The Reds concluded their 2021 campaign with a 1-0 loss to CF Montreal in Sunday's Canadian Championship final, following a second-from-bottom finish in the MLS . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 18, 2021) US Soccer Players - After eight matches per team crammed into three hectic international windows, the Concacaf Octagonal World Cup qualifying race entered its back half this week. The pandemic-condensed schedule has changed the scope of qualifying for players and fans. It's been a fascinating ride so far, with the peak drama still to come over the . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 12, 2021) US Soccer Players - When Chris Wondolowski officially made his retirement official this week, it ended an incredible 17-year professional career as the runaway leader atop the all-time MLS scoring chart. While every player's retirement is fraught with emotion and reflection, his is a story the likes of which we may not see again for a long time, if . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 5, 2021) US Soccer Players - Compared to the USMNT's breakneck pace of Concacaf Octagonal World Cup qualifiers so far, this month's international window feels measured, even roomy. There are just two matches across the usual 10-day span instead of the three required in September and October, with a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. Only one away trip, the . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 29, 2021) US Soccer Players - Earlier this week, the New England Revolution clinched the 2021 Supporters' Shield for the best regular season record in Major League Soccer. It was a statement for a club tied for last place in the Eastern Conference with a league-worst -19 goal differential when Bruce Arena took the helm in May 2019. Arena called the Shield . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 22, 2021) US Soccer Players - Under Major League Soccer's forgiving postseason structure, every instance of elimination from playoff contention is a sobering milestone. Still, it feels quite different when confirmation of that status is certain well before Decision Day. Such was the case for FC Dallas on Wednesday night. In a playoff-race six-pointer, they . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 14, 2021) US Soccer Players - Lower.com Field is a beautiful, thoughtfully-constructed new downtown stadium. With its steeply-pitched stands, sweeping roof, and absurd variety of food, beverages, and premium club areas, it feels as though its builders spared no expense or overlooked any detail. It's a drastic contrast to its predecessor Historic Crew Stadium . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 8, 2021) US Soccer Players - Thursday night in Austin was another moment for the USMNT youth movement. An 18-year-old making his second-ever World Cup qualifying appearance scored both goals. A central trio with a combined age of 63 bossed the midfield. A couple of quick, skillful 20-year-olds dominated the flanks, each chipping in an assist. As has become . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 1, 2021) US Soccer Players - The Octagonal resumes with another batch of hugely important Concacaf World Cup qualifiers in the October international window, the next step on the USMNT’s road to Qatar 2022. This final round of qualifying will be nearly half-over when this window is complete, which further underlines the high stakes and shrinking margins for . . .