By J Hutcherson (Feb 6, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's easy enough to point out the obvious when it comes to stalled MLS clubs. They're teams where the big announcements turn into yet another issue. Where whatever is the latest version of a tired fan base wait to be underwhelmed. That kind of lead in might apply to more than a few MLS teams, but the working example is the Chicago Fire. Why . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jan 23, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's not just since Deloitte started doing the work and showing us how much money European soccer clubs make. It's not the idea of clubs as brands capable of generating worldwide revenue. It's not the lobby group the biggest clubs in Europe once ran for their own benefit. The idea that the biggest teams in Europe should for a league to address . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jan 9, 2018) US Soccer Players - Credit USMNT player Eric Lichaj for adding something extra to the Third Round of the FA Cup. Lichaj's two-goal performance in Nottingham Forest's win over Arsenal wasn't enough. As he told the broadcast team following the game, he needed a hat-trick to convince his wife that their house needs a dog. He tried his best, asking to take a penalty in . . .
By J Hutcherson (Dec 12, 2017) US Soccer Players - Toronto isn't exactly title town in any sport. The Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series back-to-back in the early 90s, the high point for trophies their southern neighbors would care about. The NHL's Maple Leafs are a marquee club that hasn't skated with the Cup since 1967. The NBA's Raptors aren't going to threaten that league's elite. A city's . . .
By J Hutcherson (Dec 5, 2017) US Soccer Players - We all know the Seattle soccer success story. As the vanguard of the Pacific Northwest MLS expansion movement, the Seattle Sounders are the team that draws the biggest crowds. Portland might want to argue that they've got the best atmosphere in Major League Soccer, but Seattle has the stadium capacity. The Sounders established a model that allowed . . .
By J Hutcherson (Nov 30, 2017) US Soccer Players - MLS has moved from a dozen to four expansion candidates with two spots available. The league confirmed on Wednesday that they'd pick those two expansion teams probably by the end of the year. It's the conclusion of a compacted process that started with ten cities and added two more. MLS is a known entity across the country at this point. They . . .
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 . . .