By J Hutcherson (Nov 16, 2017) US Soccer Players - Peru finally gave the World Cup playoffs what it needed, a game worth watching. With all due respect to Australia's win over Honduras much earlier in the day on Wednesday, that game quickly became an obvious conclusion. Though Peru was the stronger team by any metric, New Zealand gave them a game. Peru's goals and both teams' near misses were . . .
By J Hutcherson (Oct 31, 2017) US Soccer Players - FIFA's Club World Cup started life with potential. Replacing the UEFA vs CONMEBOL Intercontinental Cup, the idea was a better way to determine a true world club champion. Well, that and it was good business for FIFA at least in theory. In practice, 2000 might be the high water mark for the Club World Cup. Since 2000, there was a postponement that . . .
By J Hutcherson (Oct 17, 2017) US Soccer Players - MLS has spent a lot of time over its existence blurring the line between clubs and franchises. It's an important distinction for soccer operation with international ambition, showing that a group of teams founded and allocated by a league and later added to through expansion is the same as a league of clubs. Further pushing that point were the MLS . . .
By J Hutcherson (Oct 3, 2017) US Soccer Players - At the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, the best player available by most metrics ended up selected late in the fourth round. Marcus Tracy chose Europe and it took 55 picks before an MLS team decided his MLS rights were worth it. That Tracy's career didn't play out as expected is irrelevant to the SuperDraft story. At the time, he symbolized a growing problem . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 26, 2017) US Soccer Players - Borussia Dortmund is playing out an old truisms about European club soccer. It's one thing to win domestically, quite another to win in the Champions League. So far in 2017-18, Dortmund isn't having any issues winning in the Bundesliga. It's in Europe where they're calling their entire project into question. That project requires winning in . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 21, 2017) US Soccer Players - UEFA is pushing ahead with the Nations League, officially announcing the competition. It's a concept to make friendlies count... or something. It's tough to judge what UEFA really wants from their new competition, except maybe a good enough reason to keep scheduling international games during the club season. Since MLS normally just shrugs and . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 19, 2017) US Soccer Players - The Bundesliga has a longstanding reputation as the European big league most resistant to quick change. They're not going to revamp their competition just to chase more money. They're not going to redo their particular club structure that favors the ideal of a club without considerable debate. They're not going to change just because it's the . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 12, 2017) US Soccer Players - The immediate question is which lower divisions? In England, the lower divisions are chasing a Premier League dream. Even the nice and cuddly clubs dedicated to their local communities and in no position to chase expensive by their standards moves. They're all looking at the pyramid and wondering "what if?". None of them are going to happily self . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 15, 2017) US Soccer Players - There are some obvious things we can all safely assume when it comes to American soccer. MLS will expand as long as there are people willing to pay the expansion fee. Foreign stars will normally say very nice things about the quality of American soccer. Somewhere on the internet someone is arguing about promotion and relegation for US club soccer. . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 2, 2017) US Soccer Players - It's almost cheating to latch onto comments made in an open discussion that anybody with internet access and time on their hands could've watched. MLS commissioner Don Garber provided the talking points in a Tuesday fan forum, and one of them is worth serious consideration. More to the point, one of them has been an issue almost as long as MLS has . . .