By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 28, 2020) US Soccer Players – 2020 was an unprecedented year loaded with obstacles, rescheduled games, and health protocols. Even when soccer came back, it wasn't the same. Tournaments played in bubbles, no fans allowed into stadiums, and piped in crowd noise became common this year. Despite all of this, enough of the games continued to create a new normal. . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 24, 2020) US Soccer Players - From a deadly global pandemic and widespread economic suffering to political dysfunction and police killings, 2020 visited plenty of pain on MLS players, just like the rest of the world. One silver lining amid that woe was the founding of Black Players for Change. BPC officially launched on Juneteenth, a date rich with historic . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 23, 2020) US Soccer Players - If nothing else, fans in Atlanta can feel like they're back to their old selves. That's what the hiring of Gabriel Heinze as the club's new coach does for a fan base that quickly embraced a specific style of soccer. Heinze's arrival returns Atlanta United to something much closer to the team's earliest days when Atlanta made the . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 21, 2020) US Soccer Players – Soccer jerseys can be iconic or ugly, classic or colorful, and oftentimes attempts at triggering nostalgia. Aside from the built-in market of fans that will buy whatever their team is wearing, jersey sales are the real metric of what people like and what they don't. A nice infographic explaining why this shirt is special only goes . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 17, 2020) US Soccer Players - Collective bargaining negotiations can be lengthy, tense, and painful. That's one reason why they tend to be multi-year agreements. The MLS Players Association was on the receiving end of an unwelcome exception to that this year, as the union found itself at the negotiating table with the league not once, but twice. First, in . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 16, 2020) US Soccer Players - Free agency has never been easy in professional sports. The stories of the fight for the right for an out of contract player to sign with the highest bidder were difficult in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and within European soccer. In every single one of those examples, players only gained contractual freedom after . . .
By J Hutcherson (Dec 15, 2020) US Soccer Players - It's probably not even worth asking whether it was Concacaf or FIFA that first decided their club competitions must continue. At least publicly, Concacaf went first by announcing in early November that the Champions League would conclude in December. A month later, FIFA announced that the 2020 Club World Cup would also be going ahead in January . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 14, 2020) US Soccer Players – It took nearly 300 days, a tournament played in a bubble, and the remainder of the season with no or limited fans in the stands to finally end the 2020 season, the longest and oddest in MLS history. In a year where the league celebrated its 25th year, Major League Soccer marked a most unusual season. How could it not be the case . . .
By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 11, 2020) US Soccer Players - With a recession, political turmoil, and a global viral pandemic causing pain and suffering for billions of people around the world, some version of "things could be worse" has become a common greeting for those of us who haven't hit bottom. Humanity has had little choice but to make the best of bad situations in 2020, and this . . .
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