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The Prisoner of MAPFRE: Justin Meram

US born of Iraqi parents, MLS star Justin Meram has temporarily withdrawn from consideration for Iraqi's national team due to Donald Trump's travel bans.

FIFA famously does not tolerate any government interfering with its national football federation. Most recently, Mali was suspended indefinitely from international play, including World Cup qualifiers, when the country’s sports minister sacked the Malian FA’s entire executive board. FIFA has always been quick to punish any such direct interference. Indirect meddling, however, is another matter, as Columbus Crew winger/Iraqi international Justin ... Read More »

The Unknown DP: Shkelzen Gashi

Major League Soccer has openly stated its ambition to one day rival Europe’s elite competitions. It has learned from its betters by importing their aging stars. Yet, that is changing. Many clubs are realising it’s time to move beyond name recognition, to seek younger, more agile foreign players to better match the league’s burgeoning homegrown talent. Sebastian Giovinco and Bradley Wright-Phillips were ... Read More »

Curt Onalfo Learning It’s Not Easy To Replace A Legend

Curt Onalfo isnt filling Bruce Arenas shoes as well as he used to shine them.

What happens when, as a football manager, you take over a championship dynasty that has just lost its iconic boss, desperately needs a roster overhaul, made no major signings in the transfer window, and is now spiraling down the table? New LA Galaxy boss Curt Onalfo might want to reach out to David Moyes if he’s uncertain, then update his ... Read More »

Jermaine Jones Channels His Inner Mario Balotelli

Jermaine Jones isn't feeling the love with the USMNT

Back when he was throwing darts at Manchester City youth players and touring women’s prisons in the Italian countryside–ah, good times–Mario Balotelli actually had printed, then wore, a t-shirt asking “Why Always Me?” of critics panning his antics. Jermaine Jones has always dressed the part of societal rebel with his extensive tattoos and wild, flying dreadlocks. Nor has he ever been afraid ... Read More »

Atlanta United Making The Most Of Its MLS Honeymoon

At fifty-four and having managed Paraguay, Newell’s Old Boys, Barcelona, and Argentina in the decade before coming to the US, it’s safe to say Tata Martino has been around the block a few times. His latest club, Atlanta United, did not exist before owner Arthur Blank ponied up $150 million in 2016 to be granted a Major League Soccer franchise. ... Read More »

Major League Soccer opening day: What if you threw a party and nobody came?

Joseph Haydn isn’t a player from Rapid Wien or RB Salzburg whom your favorite MLS club signed this winter while you were distracted by Paris Saint-Germain knocking the stuffing out of Barcelona. He was an eighteenth century Austrian composer whose ninety-first symphony was known as “The Surprise” because a booming chord would unexpectedly intrude on quiet passages, rudely waking sleepy audience ... Read More »

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