24 Comments

Why is the USMNT playing the friendly against Morocco in Cincinnati? I went there for the Mexico game and enjoyed it but this is just a friendly so shouldn’t it be played in an area of the country that hasn’t had a chance to watch the team lately?

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Would like thoughts on whether mls next pro really needs to exist given usl. Wish mls next pro guys had been asked to justify how it’s better than usl or what plan is to coexist/compete.

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There are no hotels available in Doha for the world cup- deserves a story tbh re how fans with tickets are stuck in limbo and can not make any travel plans. (also - can I stay with you? )

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Would it be possible for Zack Steffan to go on loan this summer to the MLS? I'm thinking Atlanta United in particular. I feel like he could get a lot of starts between the two international windows and then some high stakes playoff games leading up to the World Cup. A 6 month loan would allow him to rejoin Man City shortly after the World Cup so he wouldn't have to miss too much of the premier league season.

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Which MLS team currently on 10 points has the more promising future this year? Chicago Fire who don't concede or score or Montreal who can score but concede like crazy?

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On the podcast this week, you and Witty were talking about Almeyda, and in the bigger picture why established foreign managers tend to underachieve in MLS. You mentioned the idea of enticing bigger name managers by doing away with allocation money and entry paths and all the things that make MLS different. But you didn’t bring up the fact that every MLS owner has bought into a system that includes those things, and might not have if those things hadn’t been in place. So, can you talk about here?

James

Asheville, NC

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Why is Brad Stuver (Austin FC) never mentioned in the US goalkeeping conversation? He is a good shot stopper and plays for a team that builds from the back using the GK as an outlet and passes well.

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Apr 21, 2022·edited Apr 21, 2022

Two ways IN MY OPINION teams hinder their own scoring. Both ways pertain to promising crosses from the flank into the goal area, crosses with some chance of turning out to be assists on goals:

Improvable situation #1) All the potential cross receivers advance in a convoy and line up predictably at the 6-yard line. The azimuth of the crosser's cross is obvious to everybody. The defense fears only an expertly dipping cross. They know the direction the cross will take. Germany men at WC14 avoided this: their cross receivers did not run in a convoy, one would run at the crosser, one would stop on a dime, etc., ... defenders had to worry about a wide target swath.

Improvable situation #2) Teams on the attack seem oblivious to how often crosses end up traveling over, or through, the goal area just to roll out of touch on the weak side. Ineffective offensive header? Intentional defensive header? defender intentionally kicks it towards the touchline? goalie's punch? ball skims off the woodwork? cross was just too hard? SOMEONE among the attacking team could be assigned to backstop. Or at least to try to recycle the play from the weak side.

Do you agree?

Wish I had kept running tallies of #1) and #2) happening during my sokka -wahtcha hours :-)

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Listening to your interview with Ali and Charles Thursday, I found myself thinking, same as it ever was? MLS has had a bunch of attempts at lower-division reserves, including a Project 40 team playing in what was then the A-League, and then reserve teams playing in the USL... what's your sense of whether this will stick longer than the past efforts?

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Hearing anything about Balogun? Would he be in Greggggggggg’s plans if were to choose to wear the Stars and Stripes?

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Has soccer/football always been at a precipice of disaster? It seems like the coverage these days is doom and gloom all the time, and perhaps rightly so- Qatar, Abu Dhabi/Saudi/Russian ownership in EPL, American owners trying to change the game, the Champions League reformatting for no good reason, the rich getting richer, the Welsh League struggling with Brexit, Man City getting Haaland, etc. etc. etc. Is the coverage (of which you are a brilliant part) getting further away from "the beautiful game" we all love, or was soccer/football always in crisis, and the coverage is more amplified now? Or are we smart enough, as Americans, to understand all of the rotating aspects of the global game in ways we were immune to before? Your thoughts?

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Andrew, what's going on with the Welsh League and Brexit? I can't find anything, the Google is swamped with irrelevant stuff from 2016 and then speculation about Wales leaving the UK and what it would mean for the Welsh teams that play in the English system.

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Beleaguered, exhausted San Jose Earthquakes fan here and wondering how, despite ownership and and yet another coaching change, the team continues to be mired near the bottom of the Western Conference table year after year. Or perhaps this boils down to consistent lower end of players salaries spend ... seems we were 23rd in 2021?

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What are your thoughts on the viability of MLS Next? What's does it offer to the fans, that other 2nd division leagues don't? Why would independent teams join MLS Next vs. joining USL?

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What effect has the split between US Soccer and SUM had so far?

I, too, would like to hear your thoughts on the USL teams winning a few games against MLS teams.

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How do you see the EPL and the new Chelsea owners dealing with the outstanding loan to Abramovich? I know he doesn’t want it back but that would be an outrageous financial gain for a club that’s otherwise troubled by his ownership.

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Are there more muscle injuries among young players, or am I just imagining it? Curious if there is data tracking these things and whether newer styles of play, training regimines, or congested schedules are having an impact.

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I'd be interested in your thoughts on the US Open Cup as it moves to the Round of 32. How do you see it as a competition in the US? It hasn't happened in a couple of years, has that lessened its role on the US soccer scene, whether for fans, journalists, and teams?

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Thoughts on the US Open Cup and 4 MLS teams losing to lower level clubs? Do these results say anything about the depth of lower division soccer in this country or are they flukes based on MLS teams playing their reserves in a low stakes competition that nobody cares about?

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It's NBA playoffs time, and every game you see players lobbying/arguing with officials, seemingly always calling them by their first name. And then I watch the Premier League, and I swear every time you see players engage with the referee they are just yelling "Ref!" Assuming I'm not imagining this, what gives? Is there are culture in European soccer of just calling the referee "Ref" all the time instead of by name? There aren't that many officials-- as a regular viewer I can identify them all. Thanks.

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What are your thoughts on hands behind the back defending to avoid a penalty call for a hand ball? https://soccer-training-info.com/silva-hands-behind-back-defending/

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Good question - I started seeing this first in Mexico top division a while back. I think attackers were cynically taking advantage of how strictly refs were calling it... so, attackers aimed their "shots" for the defender's hands. A weird enlarging of the goal in response to zero-tolerance reffing. Goal = 8' x 24' plus all the defenders' hands. :-(

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founding

With Dortmund getting Süle, potentially Schlotterbeck, and maybe Adeyemi, are they finally going to challenge Bayern for a title? Or is RB Leipzig going to solidify their place as the 2nd best team in Germany?

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What would be your starting XI for the USWNT for qualifying this summer?

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