The Ultimate Fighter 21, Episode 1: These teams matter

How do you keep The Ultimate Fighter fresh after 10 years? Give the UFC credit for trying. In 2011, they used it to introduce their bantamweight and featherweight divisions. T.J. Dillashaw has gone on to do pretty well for himself, and John &hellip...

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NWSL: A worthwhile investment, not a charity

Women’s soccer players are giving up a lot to play professionally. That was the point of my recent post at SoccerWire and Jeff Kassouf’s piece on players retiring in their 20s. Deciding to play or retire isn’t easy, as Colleen &hell...

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European academies and stunted growth

Is this the model we want? Chelsea’s had 68 players play in an FA Youth Cup final in the last 10 years. They’ve played in a total of 84 senior team matches, an average of 1.2 matches per player. Nobody’s … Continue reading →...

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Takeaways from Washington Spirit v North Carolina

North Carolina is always an interesting test for NWSL teams in preseason. They’re often missing a couple of players from various national teams (Katie Bowen started for New Zealand against the USA earlier in the day), and the remaining players &hel...

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Jill Ellis stubbornly goes forth into the World Cup

U.S. women’s soccer coach Jill Ellis talked with Grant Wahl, at last giving someone a chance to ask questions that have been kicking around in the Twittersphere for a while. On Twitter, they were often phrased something like “What the &he...

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Fuzzy memories of soccer’s good (ironically) old days

You may not have noticed this, but I’m old. I’m not yet in the AARP, but by the standards of modern journalism, I’m a fossil. (How ironic in an age of long life expectancy that our media keep getting younger.) … Continue read...

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Brazilian style (leagues) in the USA?

The United States is, in addition to all the things mentioned in my soccer culture post, a nation of tinkerers. We want to fix things or improve them. That’s not to say Europe is bereft of innovation — they’ve certainly … Con...

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USA soccer culture is and is not what you want

The United States is, as Schoolhouse Rock reminded us, a great melting pot. It’s not always pretty. As Dave Chappelle said on Dr. Katz: “I saw two Irish guys beating an Italian guy — these people are specific.” Culturally, ...

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