By J Hutcherson (Jun 5, 2018) US Soccer Players - The biggest question in world soccer right now isn't who will host the 2026 World Cup. It's not if the World Cup will expand to 48 teams a cycle early in Qatar. It's not even what might happen in Russia. It's whether or not FIFA is overreaching. It's hard to downplay FIFA's recent moves. They've pushed through a World Cup expansion that may start . . .
By J Hutcherson (May 31, 2018) US Soccer Players - From my perspective Chicago was booming in the late 90s. Tech companies with plenty of jobs, people opening things like hipster newsstands to go along with the new restaurants and Japanese stationary stores. Lots of people around my age happy to be there. The dotcom crash wiped most of that out. I don't mean in theory. I mean whole sections of my . . .
By J Hutcherson (May 24, 2018) US Soccer Players - On Saturday, Real Madrid plays Liverpool (2:45pm ET - FOX) in the biggest game on the European soccer schedule. The Champions League final is the de facto club world championship, something made clear by how many people watch it versus the actual Club World Cup. For Real Madrid, it's an attempt at a three-peat, the most dominant performance we've . . .
By J Hutcherson (May 8, 2018) US Soccer Players - MLS has had the expansion game mostly to itself since their decision to revamp the league by doubling the number of teams. The expansion era is happening in isolation, save for the NHL adding Las Vegas this season. It's been a long time since the other North American pro sports teams decided expansion was nice to talk about in theory, but not their . . .
By J Hutcherson (Apr 17, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's an off week for the Champions League and Europa League while we wait for the semifinals in both of Europe's club tournaments. With eight clubs still in position to lift a trophy, it's worth remembering what happened last season. Though Real Madrid kept their Champions League streak alive at the expense of Juventus, it was the Europa League . . .
By J Hutcherson (Mar 13, 2018) US Soccer Players - On a clear day, it's easy to play count the stadiums as you fly in or out of London's Heathrow airport. There are a lot of them in that city, all built with territory in mind. Even the rugby stadiums and the cricket ovals mark space. Twickenham is rugby. St John's Wood and Kennington are cricket. Yet, it's soccer that divides up the capital. A . . .
By J Hutcherson (Feb 27, 2018) US Soccer Players - The Austin Statesman's Kevin Lyttle reports that USL expansion to Austin will happen in 2019 using a stadium at the city's F1 track the Circuit of the Americas. The Columbus Crew's proposed relocation to that city slowed talk of the USL team along with questions over the stadium plan. The Circuit of the Americas proposal is to build a 5k-seater . . .
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 . . .