Daily Soccer Fix

Reconsidering Landon Donovan's tactical role Sunday vs. RSL

In yesterday’s SI.com piece and in this blog, I talked about how Landon Donovan was a little quiet (by his standards) in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake. Well, I wasn’t exactly wrong … but I...

Where Jurgen Klinsmann spent his weekend

U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann took advantage of his trip to Europe to stop over and watch a trio of his players at their club addresses. He was in Germany on Saturday to watch Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams at Hoffenheim, where the Bundesliga side drew 1-1 with Kaiserslautern. Johnson started as a central midfielder while Williams played the last half hour as a midfield substitute. The next day, Klinsmann scooted West into London, where he watched as Clint Dempsey and Fulham played well in a 3-1 loss to Tottenham. (Fulham pushed for and nearly struck the late equalizer, but then saw the visitors to Craven Cottage grab No. 3 at the final kick.) Williams, 22, is the latest German-born recruit to grab Klinsmann’s attention. Like Fabian Johnson and Tim Chandler (and Thomas Dooley, going even further back) is the son of an American serviceman and German mother.

The days ahead for Landon Donovan, and a possible decision

Landon Donovan may have a big decision to make today. As you probably know, Donovan is on Jurgen Klinsmann’s list for a pair of friendlies across the Atlantic, starting with the bigger one on...

Fearless predictions: second-leg deciders in L.A., Houston

First, if you put your hard-earned, 99 percenter money on anything I told you concerning yesterday’s pair of playoff deciders … you’re welcome. I will congratulate myself later today for this...

MLS Playoffs: what to expect in tonight's second leg action

Home-and-away series in MLS playoffs tend to play out like the company Christmas party: things may start out a little slow, stodgy and cautious. But pretty soon furniture is being tipped over,...

This week in Talking Tactics: Peter Nowak's gambit

In the end, I think Peter Nowak may have picked the right tactic for his Philadelphia Union, but for the wrong game. Tomorrow night at Robertson Stadium, this thing might have found some legs. But at home, to open the home-and-away series against Houston ... not so much.


DC United moving to Baltimore?

Maybe not quite yet but if you read between the lines then a move may be imminent. According to the Washington Post article, Major League Soccer is attempting to gauge fan interest about a team in...

A tricky situation involving Jurgen Klinsmann and Juan Agudelo

There were talking points galore on the first legs of the four MLS quarterfinal playoff series. I tried to hit as many as possible in the SI.com review, which should be posted later today....


NSC Minnesota Stars

2011 NASL Champions   I believe in a Scottish lake monster. I believe in a Scottish lake monster. I believe in a Scottish lake monster. I believe in a Scottish lake monster. I believe in a Scottish...

Reminder: memorable nights deserve deeper analysis

A very quick one for now, because I’m marching double time today, heading into the KESN-FM studios to do some advance work before our live show tomorrow. (7 – 8 a.m. CT, recorded at Allen Wickers Pub just north of Dallas. Swing by … EPL on the tele and cold beer in the taps, if yer man enough.) Here’s something on my mind this morning: In Game 2 of a terrific, ongoing World Series, the home team led by one run going into the ninth inning. The home team, the Cardinals, lost. Last night, the visiting Rangers were down to one strike – one pitch from claiming their first championship. Not once, in fact, but twice. But the Rangers lost. Today, is anybody saying the Rangers "choked?" Or the other day, did anybody say the Cardinals "choked?" No. And I’m fine with that. Rather, we have a bunch of good discussion on the errors, the managers’ choices, the possible miscalculations, etc., that ultimately decided these riveting events. It’s great stuff, really. No need to break down these memorable nights to least-common-denominator, one-size-fits-all theory; these high-profile encounters deserve better, right? But now let me take you back a few months to an argument I made back then – that any discussion of a U.S. women’s national team "choke" in the Women’s World Cup final was just a bunch of hooey driven mostly by men and women with pretty hair (that is to say, TV types) who don’t know enough about soccer to engage in deeper conversations. That they aren’t equipped to have these conversations is fine. That’s not part of their regular jobs. But they shouldn’t try to appear to be authorities by trotting out cliché angles – plot lines they would never need to apply if they actually took the time to know more about the sport. Point is, next time the chattering class does drags out a tired, simplistic explanation for nights that deserve deeper analysis, here’s hoping more readers, listeners, viewers and downloaders – really, anybody downwind of the stinky stuff – will call them out.

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