Very Good Things in U.S. soccer

No, the U.S. soccer scene isn’t all petty arguments over turf wars, business plans and what was said in 2007. A lot of Very Good Things have happened in American soccer recently — some well-publicized, some not.

– The U.S. men won for the first time in Mexico’s Azteca Stadium last night, getting a series of increasingly stupefying saves from Tim Howard and a clever goal — a strong run and cross from Brek Shea, a nifty backheel from Terrence Boyd and the finish from Michael Orozco Fiscal. The game was a friendly, not a World Cup qualifier or Gold Cup game, but there’s no downside to smashing a psychological barrier.

– Something I mentioned in my live blog of the women’s final but deserves more attention: Abby Wambach played her guts out as always in the Olympics in pursuit of her first major international championship in eight years. Has anyone done a complete story about what it means to her to come back from the 2007 Women’s World Cup and her 2008 injury to win this gold medal? I can hardly imagine what she’s feeling, but she deserves it.

– This book snuck up on me — Gwendolyn Oxenham, another of those hyperachieving Dukies who makes me wonder why that school ever let me in the door, has released Finding the Game, a book derived from the same travels that brought us the film Pelada. If you want to take a look at soccer beyond the spotlight, look here.

– The Seattle Soundersbusiness numbers are still impressive, well after the honeymoon period should be over.

– The San Antonio Scorpions have been a tremendous success in the NASL, a league that seems to have more life than the skeptics thought. Along with other healthy USL and NASL clubs, there’s life beyond MLS in men’s soccer.

And maybe D.C. United is getting closer to a stadium deal? Maybe?

 

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