By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 27, 2017) US Soccer Players - It’s become something of a biannual holiday among hardcore fans and other MLS observers, and it arrived this week: The MLS Players Union’s public release of its members’ salary information. “The salary drop,” as it’s informally dubbed, spawns a litany of chatter and media content. We see pieces containing various combinations of . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 20, 2017) US Soccer Players - Last weekend I returned to the city of my birth to take in the final few days of the Dallas Cup and Generation Adidas Cup. Both are among the most prominent and talent-laden tournaments on the American youth soccer calendar. In the process I got a snapshot of both the progress made and the lingering shortcomings in the efforts to . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 14, 2017) US Soccer Players - Bruce Arena held a conference call with select members of the media on Thursday. Surprisingly enough, the man put in charge of the USMNT as the proverbial “safe set of hands” managed to make headlines for an unexpected reason. With another set of World Cup qualifiers on the horizon and the news of the US Soccer Federation’s . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 7, 2017) US Soccer Players - After Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph, much analysis centered on the program’s long, methodical climb. It started after their humiliating three-and-out performance at Euro 2000. One cycle removed from winning the 1996 edition of the tournament, a proud soccer nation got a stinging slap. That sparked a comprehensive rethink. “At . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 30, 2017) US Soccer Players - March’s World Cup qualifiers are over. The USMNT have banked four points from a potential six this month, meeting the coach’s stated goal. That's restored at least some measure of calm to the process of qualifying for Russia 2018 from the CONCACAF Hexagonal. Many observers have given in to the alluring temptation of blaming the . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 23, 2017) US Soccer Players - Experience, aggression and commitment are the tools of choice for the USMNT as they wade into a pressure-packed World Cup qualifying encounter with Honduras at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California on Friday (10:30pm ET - FS1). The high stakes of this match, brought on by November’s back-to-back losses to Mexico and Costa Rica, . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 16, 2017) US Soccer Players - The final countdown to this month’s massive World Cup qualifying matches began in earnest on Wednesday. Bruce Arena unveiled his 24-man USMNT roster for the games against Honduras On March 24 and Panama on the 28. What formation will the USMNT use? What sorts of tactics will predominate? Who will he decide to start in some key . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 9, 2017) US Soccer Players - Don’t think old dogs can learn new tricks? Bruce Arena has been providing some evidence to the contrary since his return to the USMNT. Arena is continuing and even expanding on the communications outreach efforts of his predecessor Jurgen Klinsmann. Arena spoke publicly not once but twice this week. He met with reporters in . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 2, 2017) US Soccer Players - We’ve grown accustomed to the reality that professional athletes almost always have to watch their words or moderate their personalities to some extent when talking to the media. In US soccer the spotlight traditionally hasn’t burned quite as hot as in the country’s most dominant sports. There’s still usually significant risk and . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 23, 2017) US Soccer Players - US Soccer brought Bruce Arena back into the USMNT fold in place of Jurgen Klinsmann last fall for one reason above all. The 65-year-old carries deep experience of the treacherous path to World Cup qualification. He experienced it twice before at the turn of the century. That made him the safest bet for steering the wobbly 2018 . . .