Ask An American Soccer Fan: CONCACAF Cup

October 10 at the Rose Bowl in California, the US and Mexico will square off as recent Gold Cup champions in a single playoff game. At stake is a berth in the Confederations Cup, the “prep” summer tournament held a year before the World Cup. That means both North American teams will be fighting for a summer trip to Russia in 2017.

We asked US fans to break down just how excited they are at this monumental opportunity. Continue reading “Ask An American Soccer Fan: CONCACAF Cup” »

My Article on Arsene Wenger From Last Thursday

Editor’s note: technical difficulties meant we could not post this article last Thursday as planned. Luckily, nothing since then has changed as all sports writing focuses on eternal Platonic truths, not the passing whims of fans based on a single result.

I am a fan of Manchester United, but have always respected Arsenal. And not just because of all the celebrity fans. Rather, Arsene Wenger has prudently managed the team’s finances and won some silverware over his 20 year (almost) reign. Talent recognizes and respects talent. Wenger has oozed class and brilliance for years. Yes, the Invincibles’ season seems like an eternity ago, but you don’t just qualify for the Champions League year after year by magic. Or at least that’s what I thought from the outside looking in.

All that changed on Wednesday when Arsenal lost to Olympiakos. Continue reading “My Article on Arsene Wenger From Last Thursday” »

Safe Spaces?

For the past few years, writing (and writing about soccer) has been a privilege. P-R-I-V-E-L-E-G-E. I am a college-educated professional who works a 9-5 and has Saturdays and Sundays off. Thanks to this free time and a computer and internet connection at home, I was able to blog with very vague dreams of financial remuneration. The point was writing. I enjoyed writing. I also liked interacting with a handful of you in the comments. Eventually, these funny people called “editors” started to contact me about writing for money. Of course, I also cold-pitched hard, spreading a wide net. But that’s besides the point. I had the money and time to write at home for free for a few years, then started to get paid.

However, one thing is missing from that narrative. I’m also a man. Continue reading “Safe Spaces?” »

Scorched Earth “Hot Takes” Worthy of Diego Costa

Diego Costa. You hate him. You love him. You love him because some hate him. You hate him because others love him. He’s basically taken the mantle of “abrasive striker” left vacant by Luis Suarez at Liverpool. He scores goals, but is a colossal prick. You would not enjoy playing a game of soccer against him, unless of course you’re into the whole mosh-pit-meets-UFC thing.

Words have been written about Costa. Takes of various degrees of heat, some tepid, some lukewarm, others toasty, have made rounds around the internet. Yet if an image says a thousand words, then a GIF says about 5-10,000 words because it’s about 5-10 images. Thus, enjoy this long-form return to Listicle GIF form. Continue reading “Scorched Earth “Hot Takes” Worthy of Diego Costa” »

United vs. Southampton: Martial Matters

On deadline day, Manchester United paid a French club tens of millions of euros for a teenager that Wayne Rooney had never heard of. In fact, the kid had yet to receive a cap for the French national team. Now, after three whole games, the world sings his praises.

His name: Anthony Martial. But why so much euphoria? And can it last? Continue reading “United vs. Southampton: Martial Matters” »

The Hilarious “Resultology” of EPL Clubs in Europe

Resultology, the term and school of thought, is the immediate overreaction to results of EPL clubs on any particular matchday in a European competition. Of course, resultology exists in all walks of life and all parts of futbol and sports. It is a branch of Utilitarian analysis whereby we focus on results, and then work our way backwards to an explanation. Like all logic, resultology strives to use reason to make sense of the universe.

Here’s the problem: sometimes shit just happens. Continue reading “The Hilarious “Resultology” of EPL Clubs in Europe” »

This Twisted, Convoluted World of Fandom

I am Mexican-American. This means I root for American and Mexican players, especially the studs that go to Europe. Last year, I was happy to see Andres Guardado embrace a holding midfield role at PSV Eindhoven and win a league title. Then, when Hector Moreno signed for them, I became elated. If PSV was good for Andres (and DeMarcus Beasley years ago), maybe Moreno could do well there.

Then PSV played Manchester United in the Champions League, an English club team I’ve adored since Dwight York and Andy Cole terrorized defenses. What’s a fan to do? Continue reading “This Twisted, Convoluted World of Fandom” »

Making the Anglo Cup Work

The Commissioner for MLS has floated an idea: MLS and EPL clubs regularly play one another in a so-called “Anglo Cup.” Of course, teams from these two leagues regularly play each other in friendlies. However, the Don would like to solidify the relationship. The general idea is some sort of tournament, akin to the Emirates Cup but 10% more (or less) creditable.

As a baseline, dear reader, I know you are cynical. Also, the proposal also lacks detail. However, I looked past my doubts and thought of a way to make it work. Continue reading “Making the Anglo Cup Work” »

The Not Surprising Lack of Solidarity in US Soccer

Five percent. Look like a big number? It’s not. When you go out to eat, you probably tip double or even quadruple that figure. However, US Soccer and MLS balk at that number. What is that number? It’s the nominally low part of any transfer fee that should be paid to any of the player’s prior youth clubs (actually a smaller percentage based on years the player was at the club). For example, Bastian Schweinsteiger recently went from Bayern to United for about nine million euros. One of his old clubs is set to get 38,000 euros.

This is not an astronomical figure. Which is why it’s so funny MLS and US Soccer have colluded to never pay it ever. Continue reading “The Not Surprising Lack of Solidarity in US Soccer” »