By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 3, 2021) US Soccer Players - No matter what happens this weekend, there will be a first-time finalist playing for the MLS Cup this season. The Western Conference final pits two former champions and two-time MLS Cup finalists against one another in a match rich with narratives at Providence Park on Saturday. The Timbers will be playing for the right to host the . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 1, 2021) US Soccer Players - The human mind is programmed to look for patterns. We see them everywhere, in nature, in numbers, in our daily lives. Sometimes the patterns are real and meaningful and can tell us something about the future. Other times, they're merely a product of chance and provide no insight at all. Then there's the matter of sample size. If . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 26, 2021) US Soccer Players - Playing at home means something in Major League Soccer. Whether it's the partisan crowd filling the stands, the comfortable environment for the home team or the unfamiliar one for the visitors, or things unique to the field or the weather, playing in your building always counts. The travel deserves a mention as well. When the . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 24, 2021) US Soccer Players - One more game. For six Major League Soccer teams, that's all the playoffs represented in 2021: One more game. A loss in the first round meant that a marathon 34 game regular season grew by exactly one more run out before the long, dark winter of the offseason arrived. To say that's a letdown would be a severe . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 19, 2021) US Soccer Players - The wait for the playoffs ends on Saturday with two first-round games, one in the Eastern Conference and one in the Western Conference. Each will pit a top-three seed against a team that needed a run of good results at the tail end of the regular season just to sneak into the playoff field. There's ambition and expectation on one . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 17, 2021) US Soccer Players - The United States Men's National is just fine. Following a 1-1 draw against Jamaica on Tuesday night in Kingston, the Americans sit on 15 points after eight games in the final round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying. That's good enough for 2nd-place following other results around the region on the final matchday of 2021. It's . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 12, 2021) US Soccer Players - There's a lot that is new this time in the latest edition of a complicated rivalry. After five straight USMNT vs Mexico qualifiers in Columbus, the match-up moves down the road to Cincinnati. A stadium and MLS team that didn't exist during the last World Cup qualifying cycle now welcomes the biggest game in Concacaf. Nothing . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 10, 2021) US Soccer Players - Decision Day 2021 is in the books. On the final day of the MLS regular season, a few clubs rose to the occasion. A few others crumbled in the face of a challenge. Playoff positions changed hands, with the league now ready to begin its frenzied sprint through the postseason and the MLS Cup final on December 12. For the clubs that . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 5, 2021) US Soccer Players - Like any league, there's only so much MLS can do about making every matchday count for every team. Part of that is the reality of a playoff league. The 34-game regular season can occasionally feel like low stakes. Normally, there's always time for a team to bail itself out. Short of a radical rethink of the model, something we . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 3, 2021) US Soccer Players - There might be nothing more sacred in the play habits of kids than the do-over. Every mistake, screw-up, or failure could be wiped away with a simple call for a do-over. Any pickup game that hinged on a swing, a shot, or a kick was a potential venue for the versatile mechanism that allowed for changing history. Whatever it was that . . .