By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Feb 19, 2018) US Soccer Players – When the USMNT takes on Paraguay next month, it won’t be just another friendly. It will also highlight the growing relationship between MLS and the South American nation of just 6.8 million. While it’s true that waves of foreigners have come to play in this country since the league began in 1996, it’s the quality, age, and . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 16, 2018) US Soccer Players - A war is quietly raging inside Major League Soccer. It's one that could have an enormous effect on the USMNT in both the short and long terms. On one side stands a band of clubs and executives who remain cognizant of the league’s founding principle of featuring and improving homegrown talent for the benefit of US soccer as a . . .
By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Feb 15, 2018) US Soccer Players - There’s a well-worn assumption that the key to becoming a successful soccer team lies in spending months, even years, training together and forming a core starting lineup. Sometimes, this comes in the form of off-field team building, like Huddersfield Town’s David Wagner leading the then-Championship side to a remote Swedish island . . .
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Feb 14, 2018) US Soccer Players - The LA Galaxy’s long road to redemption has not yet commenced, but the team revealed some of what it has planned for the 2018 MLS season. When the Galaxy played NYCFC at StubHub Center over the weekend, the team had its new captain on display. Ashley Cole donned the armband on Saturday and later revealed on social media that he had . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Feb 14, 2018) US Soccer Players - MLS clubs partnering with famous European outfits is not a new phenomenon. Attempts to link up with the established elite in Europe has long been part of the chase to advance the MLS version of the game. Before MLS was a decade old, it wasn't unusual to see announcements that teams were linking up with European counterparts to . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Feb 9, 2018) US Soccer Players - It’s largely a matter of circumstance that the balance of power in MLS is titled so decidedly in favor of the Eastern Conference. Geography should have nothing to do with success. Nothing about operating a professional soccer club depends on what constitutes “east” and “west" in the United States and Canada. Playoffs require a split, . . .
By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Feb 8, 2018) US Soccer Players - Last month marked the five-year anniversary of the partnership between MLS and USL. The move integrated the MLS reserve teams into USL Pro, then a quaint 13-team operation, allowing for the reserve players to face better opposition on a regular basis. It’s been a mixed bag of results for the “MLS2” teams. In 2017, 10 USL clubs were . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 8, 2018) US Soccer Players - It was a striking, long-running curiosity if an arbitrary one. From 2005 all the way up until last season, Western Conference teams won 10 out of the 12 MLS Cup championships. That included a few notable asterisks for clubs hopscotching back and forth across the league’s geographic dividing line due to expansion entrants or quirky . . .
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Feb 7, 2018) US Soccer Players - Los Angeles Football Club has always seemed an interesting venture. With a slew of high-profile deep-pocketed owners, the club’s operations and marketing pathways seemed exciting. Money and a means to gain exposure were always assets in LAFC’s favor. How the club capitalized on them to set itself apart in MLS was always going to be . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Feb 7, 2018) US Soccer Players - To their credit, it doesn’t seem as if Minnesota United is too bothered by being constantly compared to the other member of their 2017 expansion class, Atlanta United. While Arthur Blank’s flashy exercise in stretching the meaning of “MLS budget” made waves in their initial year thanks to a big name coach, South American attackers, . . .