By J Hutcherson (Aug 3, 2021) US Soccer Players - If there's a takeaway in this era of Nations Leagues and compacted schedules, it's that whatever just happened only counts for so long. The Concacaf Nations League ended a little over a month before the Gold Cup began. Now it's World Cup qualifying set to start on September 2. What's already clear is that success in this region is even more of a . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 27, 2021) US Soccer Players - It's easy to look back at the second half of last season as the plight of the super clubs. Even before the unfortunate attempt at a breakaway version of the Champions League, some of Europe's biggest and brightest were openly predicting tough economic times ahead. The idea that business would simply continue as usual post-pandemic butted up . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 20, 2021) US Soccer Players - The 2021-22 edition of the 2.Bundesliga begins on Friday with Matthew Hoppe's Schalke 04 attempting to make their time in the second division brief. Schalke dropped down a division following a dismal season with three wins. It took until January 9 to get the first one, 4-0 over Hoffenheim. They beat Augsburg 1-0 on April 11 and Eintracht 4-3 on . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 13, 2021) US Soccer Players - Though it's certainly closer than last season, it's still difficult to describe 2021 as normal for Major League Soccer. The easiest example of that is the three Canadian teams starting the season in the United States. Pandemic protocols made it unreasonable to hold league games in Canada. Once again, that forced the Canadian teams to try and . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 6, 2021) US Soccer Players - It's easy enough to pile on the pressure early in the preseason. With it barely July, going ahead and setting the obvious narratives is part of the game. A club makes major moves and suddenly the focus shifts to proof of concept. A club doesn't, and broader questions loom. That's the game at the highest level in European club soccer, and it's not . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 29, 2021) US Soccer Players - In an announcement that wasn't much of a surprise, Frank de Boer is leaving as the coach of the Dutch National Team. "Frank de Boer has announced that he does not want to continue, which is also in line with the contract between both parties, which required a place in the quarterfinals. That contract will not be renewed," the KNVB statement . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 22, 2021) US Soccer Players - Conference disparity is nothing new in Major League Soccer. Pick a season, and part of the story is one conference usually finishing notably better than the other. At one point, that meant a lopsided playoff field when MLS leadership decided to go wildcard-heavy rather than sticking to the conference standings. The almost single-table experiment . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 15, 2021) US Soccer Players - On Saturday, UEFA needed to address the immediate aftermath of a medical emergency. Denmark's Christian Erikson had collapsed on the field with a teammate immediately seeing the severity of the situation. What followed was a life-saving intervention that involved players, medical staff, and the fans with the presence of mind to throw their flags . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 8, 2021) US Soccer Players - It's easy enough to look at the squads fielded by the United States and Mexico to determine the value of the Nations League. Both opted for their best available players, with Mexico coach Tata Martino making some tough decisions but otherwise going with his take on first choice. That sent a clear message about prioritizing the first leg of the . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jun 1, 2021) US Soccer Players - A few weeks ago, La Liga announced that it would move its broadcast rights in the United States from beIN Sport to ESPN, beginning with the 2021-22 season. The move required La Liga to buy back their broadcast rights in the US market since beIN Sports held them through 2023-24. The ESPN deal represents a bigger platform, even if it's one crowded by . . .