By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 24, 2022) US Soccer Players - As season openers loom, coaches and fan bases around MLS tend to engage in roster arithmetic. How much talent and productivity is gone? What reinforcements have arrived? What missing pieces must still be added to the equation? Usually, the sight of both a club's leading scorer, as well as its second-leading assist-getter, . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 17, 2022) US Soccer Players - One major Canadian media network has compared his roster adjustments to a sledgehammer demolition job. Another outlet cheekily dubbed him "Snow Plow Bob" for his readiness to sweep the decks clear upon his midwinter arrival. Neither seemed that far out of place in regards to an offseason overhaul that has seen well over half the . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 10, 2022) US Soccer Players - On the surface, the USMNT's recently-completed winter World Cup qualifying window was a triumphant one for FC Dallas. Five of the club's academy products (Kellyn Acosta, Reggie Cannon, Jesus Ferreira, Weston McKennie, and Ricardo Pepi) took the field in last week's 3-0 win over Honduras in Minnesota, four of them as starters. . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 3, 2022) US Soccer Players - Eleven down, three to go. That's the Concacaf Octagonal schedule math for the USMNT now that the winter international window is done and dusted with Wednesday's 3-0 win over Honduras on an arctic night at Allianz Field. It might also apply to the quest for a place at the World Cup in Qatar. Like the calendar, the United States . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jan 27, 2022) US Soccer Players - Weather aside, one of the top topics of the USMNT's current World Cup qualifying window has been the fitness aspect of competitive matches in midwinter, in a pandemic. The coaching staff had to mesh their European-based cadre of players, most of whom are in full flow thanks to their club schedules, with a domestic group that is . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jan 20, 2022) US Soccer Players - It was easy to set expectations for Major League Soccer's long-awaited return to South Florida. Bold and splashy, according to the conventional wisdom, with no room for the missteps that ultimately doomed the Miami Fusion back in the early 2000s. Glitz, glamour, and a centrally-located, suitable stadium almost became . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jan 13, 2022) US Soccer Players - Like most of us, Gregg Berhalter tends to speak more expressively on topics he's passionate about. The LA Times' Kevin Baxter landed on one of those during Monday's USMNT media availability from the current January camp in Phoenix when he broached the recurring subject of a proposed training facility for US Soccer. "Kevin, you . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jan 6, 2022) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer tends to be a place of trends, from tactics to personnel and even kit and stadium designs. It also applies to its membership's approach to coaching hires. The insular, conservative outlook of its first decade or so gave way to a sort of "company man" phenomenon of hiring inspiring ex-players almost straight . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 23, 2021) US Soccer Players - Altoona is so connected with the railroad that its minor league baseball team is named after the famous horseshoe curve in the tracks that allows trains to pass through the Alleghenies. As its railroad museum explains, the once vibrant downtown used to operate 24-7, the result of shift work that didn't leave the train factories . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 16, 2021) US Soccer Players - Members of the USMNT player pool tend to have an extremely wide range of schedules at this time of year. For most MLS and Liga MX-based players, the holiday season is also about taking a break. It's a time to rest and recuperate before ramping up towards the start of the preseason in January. Those in Europe are busy with club . . .