By J Hutcherson (Oct 12, 2021) US Soccer Players - As big moments go, Sunday's UEFA Nations League final produced a major one. With the score tied 1-1 at the San Siro, France's Kylian Mbappe put on a display of skill to slot the ball past Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon. It was the kind of goal made for the big stage, starting with Theo Hernandez finding Mbappe with a pass that took multiple defenders . . .
By J Hutcherson (Oct 5, 2021) US Soccer Players - In the bizarre future some at the highest level of the game are trying to chart, October would be a month dedicated to internationals. Instead of three breaks in the fall schedule acting as speed bumps for the opening stage of domestic league seasons in Europe, there would be a long layoff for clubs to wonder why they didn't fight harder for common . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 28, 2021) US Soccer Players - Week 28 is another midweek wonder from Major League Soccer as MLS gets the games in over a compacted season. There are either eight or nine games left for those in the playoff positions in the Western Conference. While the East is getting the attention for how close the playoff positions are, it's also a tight table at the top in the West. Three . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 21, 2021) US Soccer Players - In the original era of the Chicago Fire playing at Soldier Field, getting from the press box to the locker room was almost a form of time travel. Exit the modern press box, take the elevator down to the main concourse. Walk across to what looks like a random door that opens into the space underneath the bleachers. Step along the two-by-fours laid . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 14, 2021) US Soccer Players - The quickest and obvious way to look at the 2021-22 Champions League is that it's PSG's to lose. Their triple-forward lineup of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi should make life difficult for every team they play. Sure, if it really was that easy Real Madrid in the Galacticos era would've won more trophies, but PSG right now may be the . . .
By J Hutcherson (Sep 7, 2021) US Soccer Players - The USMNT is in a different situation than at any point during the summer tournaments. They face what seems like a game that requires a result, but that won't be clear until much later in the World Cup qualifying cycle. Right now, the pressure is on for not beating El Salvador and Canada, but the undefeated streak remains intact. It's an . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 31, 2021) US Soccer Players - We're at the point of the 2021 Major League Soccer season where it should be easier to separate the top clubs from the rest. Going into round 23 of the schedule, New England has a 14-point lead at the top of the Eastern Conference table. It's Orlando City and Nashville tied on points behind them, both on 35 points and with Orlando holding the . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 24, 2021) US Soccer Players - We're already well into an era of change across world soccer. From the Nations League concept started in Europe and embraced by Concacaf to World Cup expansion to FIFA's delayed Club World Cup revamp. UEFA alone has now added a third European club competition with yet another Champions League revamp looming. Last month, CAF made a new African . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 17, 2021) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer has a long tradition of unbalancing the schedule. Figuring out the table takes more than assuming all teams playing the same number of games at any given time. For long stretches of the season in this league, it's points plus games played up and down the conference tables. Even that may not be enough information. With MLS . . .
By J Hutcherson (Aug 10, 2021) US Soccer Players - In a European game that has seen super clubs going all the way back to Real Madrid's player recruitment in the 1960s, one team stockpiling talent isn't new. Pick an era, and some club somewhere was attempting to field a world all-star eleven. It's as simple of a concept as it gets, providing a team has the ability to spend within the rules. That's . . .