By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jul 6, 2020) US Soccer Players – Major League Soccer is finally back. That's a phrase American fans have wanted to hear for months. The return of soccer becomes a reality on Wednesday with what the league is helpfully calling the MLS is Back Tournament. While the other major sports have yet to return to play, pro soccer is embracing its role as a trailblazer in . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jun 29, 2020) US Soccer Players – The growth of MLS over its 25 years of existence has depended in large part on the stadiums the teams call home. In the league's inaugural season in 1996, all 10 MLS teams played in large football stadiums. With MLS averaging 17,000 fans that season, stadiums looked mostly empty on television and offered very little in terms of . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jun 22, 2020) US Soccer Players – This past weekend felt normal again. Europe's biggest domestic leagues were all in action after a three-month hiatus following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. This new normal for soccer will mean a summer packed with games that matter. Gone are the meaningless friendlies. Instead, the Bundesliga, Premier League, La Liga, . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jun 15, 2020) US Soccer Players – The coronavirus pandemic that forced Americans to stay home, closed businesses, and forced sports leagues to go on pause lead to a series of community initiatives to help people cope with the health and economic fallout of the last few months. It also made for some strange collaborations. For example, MLS rivals the Seattle . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jun 8, 2020) US Soccer Players – The lack of live sports gave a newfound focus on documentaries. Viewership for the 10-part ESPN docu-series The Last Dance, for example, finished with an average of 5.6 million viewers. This has prompted a series of armchair critics to chime in on which sports docs they like best. Axios recently put out a list of the 50 best sports . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jun 1, 2020) US Soccer Players – It was 30 years ago that the United States was preparing to play in its first World Cup since 1950. Qualifying for Italia ‘90 in November 1989 had been a history-making feat for a nation that had been in the international soccer wilderness for so long. The team, made up largely of recent college grads and a mix of semi-pro and . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (May 24, 2020) US Soccer Players – This season marks the fifth year of the Hudson River derby. If not for the pandemic putting the season on hold, the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC would be preparing to play each other this coming Sunday at Yankee Stadium. A frozen schedule means looking back at the rivalry's past and it's importance to MLS. If anything, . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (May 18, 2020) US Soccer Players – The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on sports leagues around the world. National lockdowns have put a pause on Europe's domestic leagues, while stay-at-home orders across the United States also means that no sports leagues are allowed to take place. Some are starting to wonder whether sports in North America will . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (May 11, 2020) US Soccer Players – A look back at David Beckham's time with the LA Galaxy is an MLS success story. On the field, he helped the Galaxy win back-to-back MLS Cups. Off the field, he brought attention to the league from both mainstream and entertainment media. Like Pele's time in the US in the mid-1970s, Beckham helped fuel interest in soccer from a . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (May 4, 2020) US Soccer Players – While MLS celebrates its 25th season, there are other anniversaries worth looking back on this year. It was 15 years ago this season that the league tried something new with expansion club Chivas USA. The franchise, which played its first season in 2015, would have turned 15 years old this spring. Chivas USA only lasted ten years, . . .