It’s another big soccer weekend ahead with Man United-Arsenal, Celtic-Rangers, Milan-Inter, USWNT-Nigeria, Everton-Liverpool, Brentford-Leeds, Real Madrid-Real Betis, Spurs-Fulham, Sevilla-Barcelona, 13 MLS games and one NWSL match (Gotham-North Carolina). But first we’ll have our Friday Newsletter. Feel free below to ask your probing, thoughtful and/or amusing questions about any soccer topic, and I’ll answer the best ones tomorrow. Thank you!
How much of Christian Pulisic's struggles at Chelsea do you attribute to the way Tuchel uses him? I look at all the attacking talent Tuchel has failed to get clicking at Chelsea and wonder whether any attacker can really thrive in his attack.
DC United, weirdly enough, defeat NYCFC last night at Red Bull Arena. The defending champions have a joke of a home stadium situation. What are the odds they're out of Yankee Stadium in, say, five years? It's long past embarrassing to see, even for someone who had seasons tickets to watch DCU at crumbling RFK for years.
What do you think about the Canadian Premier League and as a platform of opportunities for Canadian players not making the cut to MLS and how that will impact the level in Concacaf?
I am of half a mind to delete this question because at the end of the day it won’t matter about performance——but it is bothering more that it really should be—so here it goes: Can anyone actually get a clear answer about how US Soccer and/or Nike messed up a World Cup jersey? I mean specifics— did US Soccer approve the design? Are they able to? Do the Nike designers reside in the States or Europe? Do they have soccer Jersey experience or history with US soccer designs in the past?How can there be a discrepancy between some amazing Nike jerseys and the bland, bad design of the US design (or lack there of). I am going to the World Cup with my son and we are not going to buy jerseys, we will just use our old ones. Seems like a major opportunity lost.
I think it would be a fascinating story to learn the genesis and development of this debacle and how even some (all?) players are clearly not fans at all yet they persisted. As a Utah Jazz fan this is the highlighter yellow jersey debacle all over again.
Which team had the best transfer window and which one had the worst?
Pretty much every Arsenal fan I spoke to before the season set our expectations for the season as a top four finish or a Europa League title. 5 games, 5 wins...should the expectations be higher now?
In the famous match between the Greek philosophers and the German philosophers, did Nietzsche deserve a booking? That yellow looked soft.
Who else would be in the roster consideration for the world cup if we had a different a coach, like say Bob Bradley?
With the new Welcome to Wrexham series showcasing a lower-level team in the UK, what is a realistic timeline for when we can expect pro-rel in the US? I know it's always a difficult topic to bring up in relation to MLS, USL, etc, but it seems that there is an appetite for it and a growing knowledge and understanding of how it would work. As more of a classic American sports fan myself, I don't think it's a great idea to try and implement in the near future, but I do see the sport growing in America where one day it should be a real possibility. Thoughts?
Who do you think were the winners and losers among USMNT players during this transfer window?
What is real and not real so far in the Premier League? Is Arsenal good? Is Man United bad? Are Liverpool's struggles a blip or sign of a larger decline? Can Leeds keep the good vibes going?
Probably more of an investigative journalism question, but what is going on with the Spanish women's national team? It seems like there is some weird, boys' club backdoor agreement to keep Jorge Vilda in the job. Why keep a coach when you've lost the locker room? (same question can be asked of Corinne Diacre..)
What kind of team would suit Ricardo Pepi long term do you think? Also, what stories are sticking out to you ahead of the Champions League?
What is your ideal format for the MLS schedule in future years? As a PNWer, I want Portland-Seattle-Vancouver to continue to play more than once per season but I also would like every MLS team to play each other once in each season. Would love to see FC Cincinnati this season, but their only PNW trip this year is on a Tuesday night to Seattle!
It seems like we have more US mens players in Europe than ever before and I am excited with the playing time and contribution of Musah, Adam, Aaronson and Jedi. However, am I wrong to be concerned that a number of our key guys for WC (Mckennie, Pulisic, Dest, Weah, Reyna, De La Torre, Turner, etc) aren't seeing the playing time they need to be in good form (both in terms of shape and confidence). Would love your take. Keep up the amazing writing!
I've seen lots of chatter about our number 9 options, but haven't seen it discussed in the context of whether Berhalter might or should call in strikers specifically to address the opponents in the group stages of the WC. Our CONCACAF opponents are far different in both the playing styles and physical stature of Wales and English defensive schemes and defenders, so might we see roster choices of players currently having success vs. similar styles/players? In short, does a manager choose a final roster with the goal of advancing from group play against his specific opponents?
We are all sorry to learn that , as usual, we won’t be seeing Trinity Rodman. At least she isn’t injured. But does she feel it is unnecessary to play in matches? What is the family business? Hopefully. More than a clambake in Nantucket.
Grant: Don't hear you talk much about the minor leagues. What are your thoughts on what appears to be successful USL Championship, and the battle in the third division: USL 1, MLSNP and the struggling NISA?
The Christian Pulisic VW commercial is served up to me by YouTube when I put on videos for my cat. We all remember great soccer commercials (Jose+10 from 2006 remains by favorite -- "Beckenbauer?!" "Platini.") but I've never seen them when I wasn't watching soccer. Is this a significant step? Or am I overstating it? (Plus, I'm signed into YouTube, and Google knows I like soccer, so...)
Every week we ask about a number 9, and last week you wrote an article about it (with an awesome animated illustration by Dan Leydon). Doesn't all this just mean that the USA simply does not have a World Cup-grade center-forward? And what does this mean for our three games? You can't win if you don't score.
US #9 is an obvious open question for the WC. Which international striker emulates the style that you think Berhalter favors?
How big of a deal is it if Christian Pulisic isn’t getting significant minutes prior to the World Cup? Does it really affect performance that much or could it be beneficial because he’s legs would be fresher and risk of injury would be lower?
I’m not sure if I’ve missed it, but is Fox planning on broadcasting the World Cup in 4K? If so, entirely, or select matches? It seems like we might have heard by now. Thanks Grant!
If World Cup started today and based on current form, what's your USMNT starting XI?
Back in February Don Garber suggested MLS expansion to Las Vegas was a near-certainty and hoped to announce something by April. It's now September. What's up?
I see San Diego Wave getting 27K and I wonder if those SoCal ownership groups could make a push to be the 30th team in MLS.
What is going to happen to local MLS broadcasts specifically those in Canada with the AppleTV deal?
What are you looking for from the USWNT in these two upcoming games?