By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 6, 2020) US Soccer Players - Soccer is the world's most popular sport. It's been growing steadily in North America for the past four decades, as reflected by new leagues, clubs, commercial sponsors, and millions of fans and myriad other signposts of progress. There's even a second World Cup looming, with the 2026 event already expected to power another tidal . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 30, 2020) US Soccer Players - This week Concacaf rolled out its grand new plan for the 2022 World Cup qualifying cycle. On Monday, the confederation unveiled a revised format and timetable for the road to Qatar in the wake of the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, it released the rescheduled dates for the final phase of the inaugural . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 23, 2020) US Soccer Players - Gregg Berhalter conducted one of his most in-depth media sessions in months on Tuesday, spending nearly an hour on a Zoom call with reporters. He's entered the so-called bubble at the MLS is Back Tournament outside Orlando, Florida to scout the games and keep in touch with MLS-based members of the player pool. The scope of the . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 16, 2020) US Soccer Players - European leagues are finally reaching the conclusion of their 2019-20 seasons after the interruptions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Conversely, their new campaigns will arrive more quickly than usual for the same reason, as most of them have signaled their desire to make up for that lost time with an abbreviated . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 9, 2020) US Soccer Players - As promised, MLS is back. Despite an escalating COVID-19 outbreak across Florida, the loss of two participating teams to the virus, and logistical and organizational challenges, the league resumed its 2020 season a Disney's Wide World of Sports complex on Wednesday night as Orlando City edged Inter Miami 2-1. Barely 12 hours . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 2, 2020) US Soccer Players - Over the decades, MLS has lent itself to a lot of comparisons. A startup company. A legacy software program. Don Quixote tilting at windmills. The proverbial 800-pound gorilla, and so on. As the league plunges ahead with its MLS is Back tournament amid a steady stream of positive COVID-19 tests among the players on-site in . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jun 26, 2020) US Soccer Players - Ready or not, MLS is Back, or at least on its way. In less than two weeks, the league resumes at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex on Orlando's outskirts. Though the central Florida region has become a flashpoint for the state's COVID-19 outbreak in the weeks since Major League Soccer announced the event, MLS is plowing . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jun 19, 2020) US Soccer Players - A quick litmus test. When you hear the phrase "rules changes" in the context of soccer, what's your first reaction? If your answer is suspicion, disgust, concern, or anything along those lines, you've generally got plenty of company in this sport, where tradition tends to hold sway. Soccer was one of the last major professional . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jun 11, 2020) US Soccer Players - A history-rich topflight club with loyal fans and trophies in its cabinet is suddenly uprooted and relocated some 500 miles northwest to a coastal tourist enclave amid dubious financial circumstances. That threatens to set off a game of musical chairs among clubs and cities. Meanwhile, the practice of corporations owning and . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jun 4, 2020) US Soccer Players - Labor negotiations are often bruising, even brutally so, though not always. Sometimes workers and bosses emerge from their bargaining talks like prizefighters after a bout, bloodied, exhausted, perhaps bitter. At other times it's more like students who've just done an all-nighter to complete a project, worn down but relieved to . . .