By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 9, 2020) US Soccer Players - The MLS Cup final is bound to be an emotional affair for those who remember previous eras for the two clubs that will compete for a championship at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday. While MLS is a small, insular community in most ways, it's still big enough that the connections between the Seattle Sounders and Columbus Crew ahead of a . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 4, 2020) US Soccer Players - Finding a new coach is never easy. Most of the time, the only reason for the search is because something has gone wrong. The likeliest reason is poor results. Maybe there was a personality conflict. Perhaps it was simply wanting to try something else somewhere else, leaving the team to scramble to find someone just as good to take . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 2, 2020) US Soccer Players - Over its 25 years, Major League Soccer repeatedly turns to what's new. The league itself was a new way of limiting spending on players. It's original team names and uniforms were about what was cutting edge in the mid-1990s. Multiple rounds of expansion have pushed new teams forward. New fans, new stadiums, and new understandings of . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 25, 2020) US Soccer Players - There's a certain subset of American soccer fans who are more than happy to accept Major League Soccer for what it is. Although there's no arguing that the league has taken notable strides in terms of quality and professionalism over its 25 years of history, MLS retains its reputation for sometimes being uneven with its play and . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 20, 2020) US Soccer Players - It would be fair to say that it has been a while since a true underdog has lifted the MLS Cup trophy. Last year's champions, the Seattle Sounders, are the model MLS franchise with two MLS Cup titles in the last four seasons. In 2018, an ascendant Atlanta United used its flashy and expensive South American talent and famous coach to . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 18, 2020) US Soccer Players - Every international friendly, no matter the timing or teams, is inevitably about what we learn. Games with no stakes beyond a bit of pride for the sides involved are rarely that informative. A lot of time is spent in the aftermath trying to put what we saw in context for games that count. For the USMNT during the November window, . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 13, 2020) US Soccer Players - Like with everything else we usually do, the Major League Soccer end-of-season awards are happening despite the strangeness of the current moment. There are several questions worth asking as the soccer community debates honors like "Defender of the Year," "Young Player of the Year" (new in 2020!), and "Most Valuable . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 11, 2020) US Soccer Players - The 2020 Major League Soccer regular season is over. We all know that means reckoning with the results. Plenty of clubs, whether they made the playoffs or not, will use the unique 2020 COVID-19 conditions of the season to justify the final standings. Ambition is a factor, of course. Some clubs won't be satisfied with anything but a . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 6, 2020) US Soccer Players - To properly tell the story of the San Jose Earthquakes in 2020, we have to go all the way back... to last season. You remember 2019, right? Smiling faces, full stadiums, soccer that didn't feel like it was happening in the middle of a slowly unfolding apocalypse. Back in 2019, things were "normal," whatever that means, and the San . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 4, 2020) US Soccer Players - The buildup to Major League Soccer's annual curtain-closer for the regular season seems a little muted this year. "Decision Day," as the league dubbed it a few years back to amplify the potential drama of the last round matches, got waylaid by the virus just like the rest of us. Cancellations, empty or mostly empty stadiums, lower . . .