While the United States may have avoided the toughest group at the 2022 World Cup, it's an open question if there really is a toughest group this time around. Playing England, Iran, and the UEFA playoff winner isn't exactly straightforward. The other three now wait until June to see if it's Wales, Ukraine, or Scotland taking the final spot in the group. Drawing the toughest of the playoff slots . . .
Changing the international calendar
Monday's soccer news starts with FIFA announcing a consultation period for revamping the international match calendar. That's what determines international breaks, a point of interest as FIFA seems intent on pushing ahead with its biennial World Cup plan. As Charles Boehm explained last week, that includes limiting international windows to either once in October during the standard European season . . .
FIFA’s biennial pitch
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Sep 16, 2021) US Soccer Players - The mere sight of Arsene Wenger can convey powerful imagery to people around the world, even those who don't support Arsenal. For anyone paying the slightest attention to the sport during his long heyday at the London club, the professorial Frenchman was the epitome of evolution and innovation in what became by many measures . . .
Keeping time in the era of VAR
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (May 10, 2021) US Soccer Players – Soccer is a game that lasts 90 minutes plus stoppage time. It's one of the things that makes the game different compared to the vast majority of sports that see the clock countdown to zero. MLS experimented with that concept early on in the league's history. The countdown clock and no stoppage time would join the shootout in the . . .
This version of the USMNT is already carrying expectations
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 17, 2021) US Soccer Players - "With great power comes great responsibility," or so the saying goes. These days, a new generation is learning about that axiom thanks to the exploits of Spiderman within the ubiquitous Marvel Cinematic Universe. A twist on that principle for a new generation of American soccer players might be, "with great talent comes great . . .
England’s FA announces a plan
By J Hutcherson (Jan 12, 2021) US Soccer Players - England's Football Association unveiled Time for Change, its new strategic plan, and there's no need to tag it with spoilers. They'd very much like to do all the things the bigger associations and federations around the world stress as priorities. That includes winning. Under the heading, WIN A MAJOR TOURNAMENT, the FA points to how success on . . .
The USA at the 1930 World Cup
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jul 13, 2020) US Soccer Players – World Cup history can often reveal some surprises, especially in the tournaments early era. Uruguay hosted the first World Cup 90 years ago this month. No one back then had any idea of what the tournament or the sport might become. The World Cup is now the planet's most-watched sporting event and a commercial and marketing . . .
The USMNT U-17s in World Cup Group D
We start the soccer news with FIFA conducting the draw for the U-17 World Cup in Brazil in October and November. The USMNT is in Group D along with Senegal, Japan, and the Netherlands. The USMNT finished 2nd at the Concacaf U-17 Championship, losing 2-1 to Mexico on May 16 in Bradenton. Senegal initially finished 3rd in Group B at the 2019 U-17 Cup of Nations in April. They exited the . . .
Concacaf’s next move
By J Hutcherson (Jul 9, 2019) US Soccer Players - The final of the 2019 Gold Cup highlighted exactly what the organizers seem to want by design. Mexico vs the USMNT in a packed NFL stadium that ended with both teams looking like they could've taken the trophy. That it was the first time since 2011 that the bracket worked to advance the two biggest teams in the region is a success. So are all the . . .
FIFA opts against 2022 World Cup expansion
We start the soccer news with FIFA not bringing their proposed World Cup expansion for 2022 to a vote. Amid several questions about how expansion would work with the limited number of stadiums in Qatar and their relationship with other Gulf countries, FIFA had expansion on the agenda for the June 5 Congress in Paris. That is now off, with FIFA opting against trying to start expansion a cycle . . .